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Obama Reaches Out to Veterans: 'You Earned It'

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2010 – President Barack Obama wants to make sure veterans and current servicemembers who were involuntarily retained in the military under the so-called “Stop Loss” program get the retroactive pay they deserve.

“You served with honor. You did your duty. And when your country called on you again, you did your duty again. Now, it's time to collect the special pay that you deserve,” President Barack Obama said in a public service announcement released by the White House today.

Military members whose service was involuntarily extended or whose retirement was suspended between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2009, are entitled to a retroactive payment of $500 for each month of extension. While by law, service members who received a bonus for voluntarily reenlisting or extending their service are not eligible, it is strongly recommended that all who may be eligible submit an application before the deadline, according to Defense Department officials. The application deadline is Oct. 21. Information on the special pay and links to the application are available at

About 58,000 of 145,000 eligible claims have been paid, and $219 million has been disbursed of the $534 million appropriated, Defense Department officials said.

While tens of thousands of veterans already have received retroactive pay averaging nearly $4,000 each, the president said many others may be reluctant to apply.

“I know there's been some confusion and skepticism out there,” he said. “Some veterans think this is some sort of gimmick or scam, or that it's a way for the government to call you back to service. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“As your commander in chief,” Obama continued, “I'm here to tell you that this is no gimmick or trick. You worked hard. You earned this money. It doesn't matter whether you were active or reserve, whether you're a veteran who experienced ‘Stop Loss’ or the survivor of a servicemember who did - if your service was extended, you're eligible.”

The military services are promoting the retroactive pay through direct mail, veteran and service organizations, websites, phone lines, print and broadcast media. The president’s message underscores the effort to spread the word.

“Share this video among your fellow veterans,” the president urged. “Help us get our ‘Stop Loss’ veterans the pay to which they're entitled. Help us make sure that America is serving our veterans and your families as well as you've served us.”


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Related Sites:
President's Video Message
Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

Related Articles:
Official Reminds Troops, Vets to Submit ‘Stop Loss’ Claims
Time Running Out for Troops, Veterans to Claim ‘Stop Loss’ Pay


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

12/5/2010 9:32:59 AM
i was stop lossed on my last tour for bout 10 months... and i never heard about this special pay. i put in my app. and havent heard anything back. i was reading the comments on herem and noticed that above the comments it says that these views do not reflect the views of the DoD. We were all part of the DoD, so how does it not? because we have a problem with the way its going? do they even read this in order to fix issues due to concerns?
- SPC Willard, US

11/9/2010 10:12:58 PM
Same story as everyone else. Put in the claim; phone number goes to automated system...which in turn goes to a full mailbox. What gives? This is typical; it sounds like the Government is doing right by those that sacrificed, in public...but in reality, it's the same old BS. Now I wasn't expecting this money; but if they're going to offer it...then they really should follow through with it. Why don't they have records of those who were affected; that speaks volumes in itself. People need to start getting ahold of their Congressman/women.
- Keith C., Michigan

11/9/2010 10:19:02 AM
9th month of waiting... Program is not living up to what it promises. I received my case number back on 22 FEB 10. I urge any crongressmen or senator to call the 1-877-736-5554 number one time or 500 times. results will be the same. Busy, mailbox is full etc... website to check status with claim number and to leave note for "Case Manager" with ZERO results and or contact. I would love to give the President my Case number and have him do a quility check before making anymore statements on how well this is going. I wonder how many calls are place to RSTLP versus actually answered by HUMAN?? This is another sham to dupe soldiers and americans. What will more than HALF of the Appropiated money still unclaimed go to ?? ""About 58,000 of 145,000 eligible claims have been paid, and $219 million has been disbursed of the $534 million appropriated, Defense Department officials said""
- Seann, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

10/29/2010 8:53:44 AM
I finished my military contract with an honorable discharge with active duty, then recieved a letter in the mail that I was involunatairly put back on active duty status by presidential orders. I was told I would go to jail if I did not come back. I am currently deployed in afghanistan. Am I eligible for this or not, my dates do not meet the presidents time line, but I am involuntarily back in the servicve so why do I not meet the requirements for this "stop loss" pay? If anyone could help me out id greatly appreciate it as I have no phone service over here.
- Austin, Afghanistan

10/27/2010 5:51:31 PM
Aside from the number of people that are submitting claims, I can say, that while I have run into delays in getting someone on the phone, I have only had to wait a few minutes and then call back... I always get a live voice. I was notified through the mail and through my Nat Guard Unit, so I had plenty of time to research this. I contacted the office (somewhere in Missouri) that holds copies of all my Military Docs and had them sent to my house. I scanned them into an email attachment and submitted them on-line. I have called 2 times to verify that my case has been updated, and verified that my documents were rec'd. They verified that, and explained that once my case-worker begins my process, I would be notified and from there it is about 60 days.
- Brent Peters, Minnesota

10/26/2010 5:22:49 PM
Don't get your hopes up. I got through to a Navy official using the link supplied here. I was actually called out of retirement under "Stop-Loss", but he said I didn't have the right NEC to qualify for this bonus. It says right up here in quotes, "If you're sevice was extended, you're eligible." But I wasn't eligible. Does that seem right to you?
- Philip, Joplin, MO

10/19/2010 1:29:49 AM
I just submitted my paper work on the 12th of this month. Only cause someone I served with let me know on the 11th. I watch the news almost nightly. Never did I hear of this. My issue is how many soldiers are completely unaware of this. Honostly I am not dead to the world. I would have completely missed the deadline if it weren't for him. i am collecting my G.I. Bill and I never received this supposed post card. It's a joke. That's why so many people haven't subbmitted for it and only half the money has been dispursed. there shouldn't be a time limit. This from the same government who sent ssi checks to dead people and criminals. They didn't have to apply for those checks. We have to do something about our gov's priorities. How hard is it to verify. My DD214 says right on it how many days I was held, which is short by a few months, but none the less stated. Thanks GOV and VA. What a joke
- shain haas, Blythe, ca

10/13/2010 10:19:41 AM
I served as an Officer in the Active Component Army and my mandatory active service obligation ended 10 days after the stop-loss went into effect. However, I did not submit a REFRAD packet because it wouldn't have made any sense because the stop-loss was already going to be established before I was eligible to get out - so I would have been submitting it knowing that it was going to get denied ...and at the time, I had no idea that I could get paid later if I submitted it. So, I guess I'm not eligible for this pay. I think that this situation is probably fairly common for Officers since they have to submit a REFRAD packet to get out. Why would they do that knowing that it will get denied and then they just look like a turd attempting to abandon their unit at the last minute.
- Doug, Atlanta, GA

10/12/2010 9:23:04 PM
Not much trouble filling out the forms, finding the old documents was a bit harder. But I just got my check today- what a pleasant surprise. Never would have expected it back then. Was in 23, been out for 8 years now and still quite proud of it all. I hope those guys getting chewed up in Afghanistan will be taken care of like we were.
- MSgt Hoffman, Mesa Arizona

9/29/2010 4:17:15 PM
I've tried filling out the paper work on line but it didnt work, why? because the dates are from 11 Sep 2001 to 30 Sep 2008, but the letter from the Under Secretary of Defense and the President are from 11 Sep 2001 to 31 Sep 2010. The dates dont match up and therefore the computer won't allow any dates past 08. To add insult to it all, the phone number listed 877-736-5554 is an automatic system and not a real person. You will be prompted to push different numbers only to be informed that the mail box is full and then you will hear a dial tone. What a darn disgrace. I was forced past my retirement and now I'm having to deal with more embarrassing things from the military side of the house. NOW YOU SEE WHY I DECIDED TO RETIRE. When do you say enough is enough.
- Lorraine O'Reilly, Clarksville, TN

9/22/2010 9:12:03 AM
Why does anyone need to apply for this pay? Surely the respective Service knows who they forced to stay in beyond their commitment. Why is this pay not just pushed to them, rather than making them ask for it? If we are truly thankful for the service to the country, we should not be making them come to us. We should be going to them or their surviving family member with a check in hand, particularly if the service member is now deceased.
- Brian Coval, Alexandria, VA

9/15/2010 11:15:34 PM
Has anyone seen all the problems that everyone is having trying to obtain this pay? You should read on facebook, retro stoploss pay, the page is loaded, hundreds of comments ,all the same. No one can get thru to check status of payment or anything, most have waited beyond the 15 days they say it takes for a "quick claim". People who filed manually (online) are waiting 90 days or longer, some almost 9 mths, with no response to emails, you cant even get through on the 1-800 number they list to check your status. Service members were held beyond their retirement dates with no 'OFFICAL" rejection letters, because they were never issued. Its a real shame. This retro stoploss pay sounds really good but has anyone addressed all the problems these service members are having? It sure doesnt sound like it, read all the comments and complaints!!
- cheryl, tennesee

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