Extreme circumstances can lead active duty military members to serve longer than their expected window.
For example, during periods of war military members can be required to serve until six months after the war ends.
Stop-loss, the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty, was invoked after the September 11th attacks. To compensate military members for extra time served, the government is providing Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP).
Service members that missed the original RSLSP deadline are in luck. The deadline to claim stop-loss benefits was recently extended an extra year to October 21st, 2011.
The RSLSP Benefits
RSLSP applies to eligible military members who were required to extend their length of military service during the time period from September 11, 2001, to September 30, 2009.
It is possible for service members to claim $500 per month/partial month that has been served in stop loss status; the average total amount is almost $4,000. Although, your actual payment amount will be determined by how long you remained on active duty.
How to Apply
Stop-loss benefits are not automatically awarded to military members. You must submit a claim to receive compensation for your time. Military members who are eligible for RSLSP should contact the websites of their military branch to submit an application online.
Online submission provides a claim number, allows for automated status updates, and provides a means for the military service to contact the applicant.
Depending on specific status and service, there are certain documents that may be required to process a RSLSP claim:
- Personal record documents that state the original expiration date of service
- Certificate of release or discharge from active duty
- Orders that establish retirement before the actual date of retirement stated in DD Form 214 (which is verification of military service)
- Documentation from a military member’s chain of command verifying separation or deployment.
- Revocation of separation of retirement orders
An Additional Note
There are circumstances when a stop-lossed service member is not eligible for RSLSP. The Defense Appropriations Act voids RSLSP for military members who voluntarily reenlisted or extended their service and received a bonus for the extension.
Photo thanks to AMagill under creative commons license on Flickr.