WASHINGTON -- The fiscal 2010 defense budget extends payments to service members involuntarily extended on active duty under the so-called "Stop Loss" program, but those who received a bonus for voluntarily re-enlisting or extending their service no longer qualify for retroactive stop-loss pay.
Defense Department officials put the new policy into effect Jan. 5, modifying eligibility for retroactive special pay to comply with Section 8108 of the 2010 Defense Department Appropriations Act, which took effect Dec. 19.
Service members affected by the new policy who already received stop-loss payments will not be required to repay them, defense officials said. However, all outstanding applications from effected service members will be returned, along with an explanation of the change in law that makes them no longer eligible to receive the payments, officials said.
Department officials announced in March their intention to eliminate the stop-loss policy, which kept service members on active duty beyond their contracted end-of-service date.
While the services work to phase out the policy, officials authorized a special pay of $500 a month for anyone retained on active duty due to stop loss. Retroactive payments applied for anyone who served on active duty between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, and the fiscal 2010 defense budget extended that authority through September 2010.
Service members were able to begin submitting their claims for retroactive stop-loss special pay on Oct. 21.