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Are you a stop-loss veteran? Do you know someone who is? Better read on, then:

The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act established Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP), providing $500 for each month/partial month served in stop loss status from September 11, 2001 through September 30, 2009. Being in "stop loss" status meant that the affected troop could not leave active service when his or her tour of duty ended. This typically extended tours of duty by several months for each troop affected.

Service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of servicemembers whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009 are eligible for RSLSP.

To receive this benefit, those who served under stop loss must submit a claim for the special pay. Throughout the year, the services have been reaching out to servicemembers, veterans and their families through direct mail, veteran service organizations, and the media. But there is still money left to be claimed, and the deadline is approaching. The average benefit is $3,700.

Individuals who meet eligibility criteria may submit an application between Oct. 21, 2009 and Oct., 21 2010. By law, there is no authorization to make payments on claims that are submitted after Oct. 21, 2010, so apply NOW.

Eligible members should print, complete and sign Department of Defense Form 2944, Claim for Retroactive Stop Loss Payment.

Next, choose the appropriate method for submitting the claim form and available supporting documents based on your service specifications. This information can be found on your service’s stop loss Web site.

The following service-specific sites provide more information and allow you to begin the RSLSP claim process.

Army

Marine Corps

Navy

Air Force