Deadline nears for vets to claim ‘Stop Loss’ bonus

September 23rd, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

Military Veterans have until Oct. 21 to claim a bonus they have earned if they were involuntarily kept on active duty after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The “stop-loss” bonus is entirely separate from the Ohio Veterans Bonus that was approved by voters in 2009.

Last October, Congress approved retroactive pay for military personnel who were forced to remain on active duty beyond their original discharge date, a policy known as “stop” the “loss” of military specialists whose skills could not immediately be replaced by others.

The lawmakers approved back pay of $500 for each month of involuntary service. Congress allocated $534 million for the program and $324 million remains unclaimed.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that 145,000 military Veterans are eligible for a bonus that averages $3,700.

Nationwide, 90,000 people who are eligible for some bonus money have not submitted an application.

The numbers include some military personnel who are on active duty. DOD could not estimate the number of Ohio Veterans eligible for the bonus.

Military Veterans can go online at www.defense.gov/stoploss, and complete Department of Defense Form 2944, "Claim for Retroactive Stop Loss Payment."

From Sept. 11, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2009, the Department of Defense used "stop-loss" to force mostly Army troops to remain on active duty beyond their scheduled discharge dates. The military first invoked it in 1990 in preparation for the Persian Gulf War, but expanded it during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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