Once again, the Department of Defense has extended the deadline for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.  The deadline to file a claim is now March 4, 2011.  So far, less than half of the 145,000 Veterans who qualify have filed to receive their money.  All the information you need can be found at the Department of Defense’s Stop Loss page as well as our previous blog post on the subject.  The average payout is $3,700, so don’t miss out on hard earned money if you qualify but have yet to file a claim.

Also, keep in mind that state and local taxes apply if you received a payment in 2010.  This is an email I received after filing my own claim last year:

Reminder to Stop Loss Special Pay recipients.

Stop Loss payments are subject to federal and state taxes in most cases. DFAS will not have all W-2s or 1099s delivered until the end of January or early February.

Recipients of Stop Loss payments should consider waiting until they receive their W-2s or 1099s before filing their federal and state taxes in order to avoid the need to file an amended return.

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Published on Jan. 3, 2011

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28 Comments

  1. Kent January 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I was taxed for all the months that I was deployed. It is now nearing the end of Jan and I have no idea where to get any claim information. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I have moved since my payment and I just dont want my w2 being sent to the wrong address.

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  3. Judi May 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    People should either apply or don’t. Why complain? The veterans, like me, who were stopped loss during desert storm did not get this benefit offered to them. Be grateful that you are getting something at all. The government does not always do the right thing, so enjoy.

  4. James March 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Ok, Here’s my situation. March 1, My parents talked me about a certified letter that they got in the mail. Informing me that I have till March 4th to apply for this retroactive stoploss payment that I didn’t even know I was eligible to receive. I knew that I was stoplossed but I didn’t know that they were making payments for it. I had heard rumors that they were going to do something like this. However, after returning from my second deployment since I no longer was under any obligation to my unit I did not stay in contact with them, I chose not too. This choice, however, does not relieve them of paying these benifits that they are required to make. If you owe someone money, are you not required to still pay them if you can’t find them. I believe that you are even if they come to you later and say “Hey, you owe me this” It doesn’t work like that. IF in reality that was the case, you’d not look very hard to locate the person you owe something too. It seems this is the case here though. Anyways, that’s probably why that got mailed to my parents home. I left them with my parents address, one that I figured would be more permanent. Seriously, one contact 4 days before this “second” expiration? It doesn’t feel like they were tring too hard.

    I was stoplossed less than a week before my ets. Fun right. If this deadline wasn’t extended. I’d not have had been awared of this. I guess, I wouldn’t be angry about it because I wouldn’t know to be angry. I lived at 4 different places since then with school and jobs. I never updated my address with my unit. Honestly if I whent there, I wouldn’t know anyone. Everyone left. It was our second depolyment. I can’t name one person that remained. A lot of our ~90 man company. ETS’d before returning home, I was of the first to ETS 2 weeks into the mob. At the end of our deployment, 38 of us were on stoploss.

    So for the 30% of stoplossed veterans not getting this benifit, I feel for you. I don’t think they tried hard enough. I don’t think there should be a deadline. I don’t think they should retain a temporary “staff” to service this however that doesn’t mean that saying that a stoplossed service member has to contact/file before this deadline should be able releave them from an obligation. If that is the case then really your getting the benifit for filing a claim and not for your service.

    Who knows when I’ll get this… I filed March 1 2011. I guess, I might see this in time for christmas maybe?

  5. nathan February 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    i get out in feb 2012 my unit deploys in sept can i get stop lossed??

  6. armydoc February 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    What about the vets that has put in for their stop-loss pay and has been waiting for over 6 months??? All I get is they’re still reviewing my case and I will get something through the mail if they need anymore info. it shouldn’t take this long to pay us the money that we are diserved!!!!

    • Alex Horton February 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Unfortunately the processing people were crushed with claims when the first deadline approached. A lot of people waited until the last minute to submit.

  7. Gary February 7, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I also submitted mine back in early October as soon as I got a letter from the VA about this retroactive stop loss pay. I daily checked my status on the pay at the website. The letter I got said it would take 6 to 8 weeks to process once it was turned in. It took them until early January(13 weeks) to process and finally tell me I was approved, but I still haven’t received the direct deposit yet. My status has said “awaiting payment” for over a month now. It’s a little frustrating. I called a couple of weeks ago and was told that once it says “paid” it will take 5 to 10 business days for me to receive the money. Well how long does it take to say “paid?” Seriously?

    I understand that the process takes a while, but I am approved already. Why does it take this long to send the money? Also, if while I was stop lossed and was in combat(tax free zone) for most of that time, does that mean that it will be taxed regularly? Or do I get part of that money untaxed? If anybody knows the answers to my questions I would appreciate it!

    • Alex Horton February 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      Hey Gary, I believe it works like combat pay: stop loss pay is not taxed if it was earned overseas, but if you had a stop loss period stateside, that amount is taxable.

  8. CJ February 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I submitted in September and was told it takes 90 days to get a check. I went
    To the office in January 2011 after not hearing from anyone in the stop
    loss program and they could not locate my paperwork so I resubmitted everything
    And will physically go to the office in march to check the status. I agree
    checks should be sent to the servicembers impacted. If contractors are
    assisting with this process and the program is constantly extended that
    offers job security. I, like most of you just want the money I am eligible
    to receive. It is interesting how some recipients have been paid in less
    than 30 days and others wait many many months. I agree there should
    exist a reliable system to contact the stop loss office so questions and concerns can be answered in a timely manner.

  9. RM January 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    ok well i just found out that they are only going to tax the months that you are not in theater i guess i should have read more. Dont worry youll get the money just be patient remember the old saying HURRY AND WAIT. LOL

    • Robert January 27, 2011 at 12:53 am

      Don’t worry, it’s so miniscule you’ll get it back when you file anyway.

  10. RM January 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    I received my stop-loss payment almost immediately after i filed my claim, but call me crazy. But, tell me this if i was “supposed” to get the pay when i was in theater because i was stop-lossed then why am i getting taxed on that income. Being a E4 and making what 32,000 my 4,500 that i should have got for being stop-lossed for 9 months while deployed should have not been taxed. It sort of seems like im being penalized for something i had no control over and taxed on income that i should have received in the first place

    I dont know just my 2 cents i have no choice but to pay the taxes, but
    IM JUST SAYING

  11. Nick January 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I have also been trying to apply for this and can not get the Armys website to pull up. And trying to get someone on the phone is an even bigger joke. I did get one person to pick up but they quickly hung up the phone. I guess they were trying to make a phone call and accidently answered a ringing phone. Ooops dont want to actually have to talk to anybody do they. And as far as trying to locate people to notify them of this that is a joke. We are talking about the goverment right? They have our social security numbers dont they? Most of us have jobs and pay taxes right? They are obviously not looking hard enough. And something tells me that a good bit of the 35,000 veterans they cant locate are like me and trying to locate them with limited success. But I was under a stop loss for over 9 months so you better believe I will not give up trying to get this money. I will email and call anybody who might be able to help with this. I just dont understand why it should be this hard. How hard is it to keep a website up? Other websites go down and they are back up in minutes to hours, not weeks lol. Go Army!

  12. Heavy January 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Does anyone know what is going on with this program? I submitted a claim back in October, and was able to check on the website to see that no one had gotten to it. Now, I can’t even get the website to come up to tell me no one has gotten to it. And, good luck trying to get anyone on the phone.

    Does anyone have a number to a person that can tell me what is going on?

    • nsmurf January 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm

      I submitted mine in Oct as well & nothing yet.
      So frustrating.

  13. thomas January 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    did anyone on here get their payment at all. i submitted back in September and same story with me. i did get a hold of someone twice on the phone system and they both told me completely different things. sounded like they were just trying to get met off the phone.

    • Robert January 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      I submitted mine back in maybe July or so of last year, and actually got it in September while on vacation, and about to head up to Atlantic City no less.
      My other brothers-in-arms that I talked to about it have all gotten theirs as well, have you tried e-mailing the retroactive email or calling them? I did a few times to make sure everything was going okay due to an issue I had inputing the information originally.

  14. Doug Noble January 6, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Alex or Brandon, Does VA Secretary Shinseki have an email address for his office. How can a Veteran contact his office, or him personaly?

  15. Joe Average Vet January 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    FJ is right. Its the classic “rebate” trick, which is the real reason the government doesnt give the troops this money automatically without “applying”. The government knows that not all people will apply for the money due them for a variety of reasons..some are our troops fighting a war in Afghanistan, and simply dont have time to fill out forms. Others wont hear about it, or have illness or other issues preventing them from making application. These people will all forfeit their money due them, and the government will “look good” because they extended the deadline to apply when the reality is there should be no “deadline” to apply. Our troops deserve the money without red tape, for a change.

    • Alex Horton January 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      A lot of these programs set money aside indefinitely, like the case of VA insurance payments that date back to World War I. The government doesn’t benefit if less Veterans receive their payment, really. As for a deadline, there are people that were either hired to process these claims, or added to their normal duties. I would imagine they couldn’t be doing this forever; then the government would have to justify holding onto temporary employees, which I imagine would not be popular in the midst of government spending cutbacks. Not to mention the fiscal irresponsibility of sending checks, some totaling thousands of dollars, to unverified addresses and bank accounts.

      No one in Afghanistan was subject to stop-loss. The program was used to retain individuals past their separation date, so they left the military after their term was completed. Even though retroactive pay is DOD program, the White House and VA are working to get the word out, as you have seen on this blog, Facebook and Twitter. I want to see everyone get what’s owed, but we have to do it the right way.

  16. FJ January 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Alex – I hear you. I think however most of these Vets feel a little uncomfortable about having DoD get current info on them. Not that DoD would call them back up or anything – noooooo. I also think DoD could send out one penny payments to these accounts, as PayPal does, to test if they were still active.

    I read in an article somewhere that the problem here – at least with the Army – is Hoffman Building and/or – Gawd – St. Louis HRC – not getting these claims through in a timely manner. Cheers!

    • Alex Horton January 5, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Yeah, that makes sense – especially as former active duty subject to a deployment recall for another 18 months. But I still think the best solution stands. Your idea is a good one, but someone could have shared a bank account with a spouse that may not be together anymore. Then it’d be a matter of fraud if it goes to an account no longer used by the beneficiary and withdrawn by someone who didn’t earn it.

      The claims were going through in a timely manner when there was still a few months left before the deadline. Mine was processed fairly quickly earlier this summer and I even had email contact with the Army stop loss folks. They have been crushed with the stampede to get in claims before the deadline, so it’s gummed up a bit.

  17. FJ January 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

    DoD needs to just pay them – they know who they are, obviously.

    These Vets shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to ‘apply’ for money they are rightfully owed.

    • Alex Horton January 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      FJ, the point of applying is to confirm direct deposit information or to update it, and to ensure the stop loss period is accurate. Using current deposit information or sending out paper checks to possible erroneous addresses is not desired either. I want the the most simple solution too, and every single person entitled to get their money should receive it. But it has to be secure and accurate.

  18. Alex Horton January 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Jerry, DOD has already sent letters out to many it believes qualify for the payments. The trouble is that many Veterans move a few times after service, use their home of record as a mailing address or don’t update their information. If DOD sent me a letter based on the information they probably have, they would reach a mailbox that I used three times ago.

  19. Jerry Pfannenstiel January 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Really DOD?!?!?! You know who these young warriors are, why don’t you figure out what you owe them, take out the taxes and send them the check they are ENTITLED to. It’s the least you could for their service to our country.

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