Retroactive stop loss pay filing deadline nears

CNJ staff report

The deadline to apply for retroactive stop loss pay is Oct. 21.

Service members whose service was involuntarily extended from Sept. 11, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.

Stop loss is a policy used during major conflicts to quickly retain and generate forces to surge.

Under the 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act, $530 million was set aside to pay stop loss compensation.

All veterans, active service personnel and survivors of service members are entitled to a $500 payment for each month or partial month their service was involuntarily extended through the stop loss program.

According to a press release from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., 145,000 are eligible for pay and 58,000 claims have already been paid out.

Marissa Padilla with Udall’s office said claims must be submitted with a service members branch by Oct. 21.

“It’s a fairly clear-cut process,” Padilla said.

Padilla said of the $530 million set aside, only $219 million has been paid out.

“Not even half of the funds that have been set aside have been claimed yet,” she said. “We’re getting the word out. You’ve earned it. All of these families can use it. We want them to apply for it.”

Padilla said there are about 200,000 veterans in New Mexico since the return of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans.

Padilla said claims can be filed online or by phone.