RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Thousands of current and former Air Force members remain eligible to receive $500 in retroactive special pay for each month they were affected by stop loss. Airmen have until Oct. 21 to apply through the Air Force Personnel Center in Texas.
Air Force people eligible include active, retired and former members as well as Reserve component members who served on active duty while their enlistment or period of obligated service was involuntarily extended, or whose eligibility for separation or retirement was suspended as a result of stop loss. Those who accepted a selective re-enlistment bonus subsequent to being affected by stop loss are not eligible for the special pay.
Air Force officials used stop loss for Operation Enduring Freedom from Oct. 2, 2001, through Jan. 31, 2003, and Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2 through Dec. 31, 2003. Individuals who were deployed during either operation may be eligible beyond the inclusive dates depending on their Air Force specialty and deployment return date. The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriation Act set aside $534.4 million for the retroactive stop loss special pay compensation authority.
Personnel officials are encouraging those who were involuntarily held on active duty during either of the stop loss periods to contact AFPC to determine if they might be eligible for the special pay compensation.
"We want to exhaust all efforts in our attempts to reach as many eligible members as possible while the authority is in place to compensate them for their extended duty," said Col. Bill Foote, the AFPC director of personnel services. "Of course, many of those eligible to receive this special pay are no longer in our ranks, so we're opening channels to reach out to veterans to help spread the word about this valuable benefit throughout their communities."
More than 3,000 claims by Airmen have been approved for retroactive stop loss special pay since officials here began accepting claims in September 2009. Officials estimate an additional 13,000 current and former Air Force members may be eligible for the compensation.
Whether or not Air Force veterans are sure they are eligible, Colonel Foote encourages those impacted by stop loss to apply. Claims are evaluated based upon historical records already available to personnel officials as well as any supporting documentation the applicant may submit.
To file a claim, eligible members or legally designated beneficiaries may download a stop loss claim application at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/stoploss. Applicants who were serving in the Reserve or Guard at the time of stop loss may apply by visiting the Air Reserve Personnel Center website at https://arpc.afrc.af.mil/vPC-GR.