Tomorrow, Dec. 3, is the last day for eligible Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans to claim Special Stop Loss Pay benefits from the Department of Defense. To apply for benefits, Click Here.
The benefit, authorized by Congress, entitles all personnel held under the military's stop loss policy after 9/11 to $500 per month for each month of their mandatory extension of service. Pentagon analysts believe the average benefit is about $3,500.
The original deadline was Oct. 21, but Congress extended it to Dec. 3 after most of the money remained unclaimed. The Pentagon also sent out letters to all personnel they believed would be eligible for the payment and President Barack Obama filmed a message encouraging all potentially eligible veterans to apply.
Veterans contacted AMVETS about the certificate verification prompts on the Pentagon's Special Stop Loss Pay Web sites, voicing concerns that their personal information could be compromised on the internet. The Army, Navy and Air Force have since remedied the system, creating a more user-friendly portal for eligible veterans to apply. However, the Marine Corps Web site still prompts applicants to accept a security certificate exception. Marines who wish to apply online should simply add the exception to their Web browser to access the secure system.
AMVETS leaders encourage all potentially-eligible service members and veterans to apply for the benefit. Pentagon officials have indicated that all applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.
(Image: Screengrab of the U.S. Army Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay Web site, https://www.stoplosspay.army.mil.. Countdown clock created using OnePlusYou. www.oneplusyou.com)