Receiving Retro Stop Loss Payment, Soldier Shares Story

By Mr. Thomas Breslin, who served in Iraq as a fire support officer in the 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division from 2006-2007.  He separated from the military in June of 2007 and is currently the Chief of Response Doctrine for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

I was sent an email by a friend early in the year that the Army was going to retroactively pay me for the approximately one year I was “stop-lossed” while I was deployed to Iraq. My initial reaction was one born of experience: “This is not going to be easy, I’m never going to see this money.”

The stop loss pay website isn’t the fanciest out there, but it no harder to deal with than filling out any other piece of military paperwork. I uploaded my DD214, which reflected my time in service, my original contract showing projected date for release from active duty and my orders to Iraq with the stop-loss language in it.

The website stated that I would need a memo stating my retirement was denied, I simply skipped it and provided the information I thought would be needed to prove I was stop lossed and crossed my fingers.

In the meantime I was sent a link to a Facebook page set up to handle stop-loss pay.

I was impressed — it seemed that someone was following up on folks’ issues and giving them helpful info. Reading through the page the stop loss folks were more than upfront about the issues they were dealing with and the best way to get your claim processed.

Two months later I received an email that my claim had been found to be valid and shortly after, my stop loss funds appeared in my account. Grand total, it took about 30 minutes of my time to submit my info. Beside the expected wait the process was easy.

If you do have issues, post them on the Facebook page and you should have an answer back, or call their helpline.

On a related note, we have scheduled a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable for Wednesday, July 28, at 12:00 p.m. EDT with Lernes J. Hebert, Acting Director, Officer & Enlisted Personnel Management for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness. He will be joined by U.S. Army Maj. Roy Whitley, who is the Army’s Project Manager for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. Mr. Hebert will be providing an update on Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.

Listen to the interview.

Read a related article on Defense.gov: “Time Running Out for Troops, Veterans to Claim ‘Stop Loss’ Pay

Check out these other posts:

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  • Rgooi

    i was sadened to learn that i didnt quilify for stop loss because after nine months on stop loss i decided to reenlist, well because of that i dont qualify, i feel thats wrong because the bonus is for my next 6 years of enlisment, not the 9 months that did beyond my control.

    • Giamy

      Wow I am in the same boat it sounds!

  • Giamy

    I want to know- I was involuntarily extended due to deployment in January 2004 I reinlisted 31 December 2004 and received a 15,000 bonus upon my return in april of 2005 does this mean I am not eligable for this? Had I known this I would not have reinlisted as my ex husband got my money in my divorce! How many other servicemen and women had this issue.

    • Beto

      I also stop loss for a deployment around the same time frame from February 2004 til March 2005. I re-elisted in May 2005 a month before ETS date (As it was the best thing to do for my family) and received a bonus for it. This made me ineligible. We went through what everyone else that is eligible went through. I dont see what a bonus has to do with anything. This stop loss pay is to compensate those who were involuntarily extended, which i was at that time, so why am are we not entitled to this?

  • Giamy

    Also lets talk about what really is heartbreaking at least in my scenario. I am continuosely fighting to pay bills and I am in a financial hardship right now as I am sure most are otherwise this would not be such a hot topic. I am constantly fighting for custody of my daughter and I am well in debt to doctors dentists and rent and ya know I saw this as the light at the end of the tunnel when I received this letter in the mail two weeks ago saying that I am qualified (not maybe but qualified) to receive this. No that I am reading about the bonus I am not. How heartbreaking its as if saying you hit the lotto ………. oops my bad wrong number it was 6 instead of 9. Wow. Thanks.

  • Giamy

    Also lets talk about what really is heartbreaking at least in my scenario. I am continuosely fighting to pay bills and I am in a financial hardship right now as I am sure most are otherwise this would not be such a hot topic. I am constantly fighting for custody of my daughter and I am well in debt to doctors dentists and rent and ya know I saw this as the light at the end of the tunnel when I received this letter in the mail two weeks ago saying that I am qualified (not maybe but qualified) to receive this. No that I am reading about the bonus I am not. How heartbreaking its as if saying you hit the lotto ………. oops my bad wrong number it was 6 instead of 9. Wow. Thanks.

  • Jonathan

    I never received a bonus and I was on Stop Loss for 590 days. After waiting a month after submitting my claim and not hearing if it was approved or denied, I called DOA @ 1-877-736-5554. Come to find out, I was denied do the dates I submitted. The dates I used were my original ETS date and the actual date I was able to separate from the Army. These dates are also annotated on my DD 214 that I submitted. Now riddle me this wonder; why are they so quick to deny you without calling you first? When I called they were in a hurry to get off the phone, very vague, and left me hanging with questions and concerns. Is this how they act on behalf of the President of the United States and our Government? I submitted a Reconsideration Request and still have not heard anything back. Where's the quality and commitment to get the soldiers and veterans what they deserve? There needs to be communication between the case managers' and the people issuing the claims, so each claim is handled equally with accurate data. In the long run, if this process keeps going as it is; the government and the people will have to pay money back due to case managers mistakes. I'm for one not happy so far with the claim process, but I am happy that our government is providing people like you and I money for our involuntary service under USC 12305.

  • Soo Lee

    I claimed it on Jul 15, 2010 and it was denied because I didn't provide because:

    You were notified on 8/10/2010 that your claim was being reviewed and certain documents to complete your claim were required. You were asked to provide the documents no later than 8/19/2010. To date you have not provided the documentation required to completely process your claim. Your claim will be noted and closed today.

    If you feel this determination is in error, you may submit supporting documentation for reconsideration to stoplosspayreconsideration@conus.army.mil.

    Is there anybody to answer these questions, just curiosity?

    1. Why they don't answer the phone? I finally talked to them and find out that my case has been denied because I replied to DO-NOT-REPLY email address.

    2. DOD is handling over half billion dollars. Couldn't they find a budget for $50,000.00/year to answer the phone?

    3. I resubmitted 9/9/2010 and my case manager told me I have to wait for another 90 days.

    If there are so many claims, why DOD does not hire more people?

    I am a veteran, served in the Korean marines, came into states in 1989, served in the US Army 1991-1999, served in the US Army Reserves 2000-2006, activated and deployed to Iraq 2004-2005.

    I still can't speak English well so I go to a college but it seems like the President Obama and the Congress's good intentions are just making those case manager's headache while they get paid and me ,while I have to dig up all the boxes to find out even DD form 4, the army contract, wasting a lot of hours on the phone hopely to get answered for 1 minute conversation.

    Thank got I have a hope to get paid for 2 months and 4 days stop loss payment in 90 days.

    Soo

    • http://www.dodlive.mil DoDLive

      Sir, thank you for visiting DoDLive and leaving a comment. I'm sorry for your troubles but I do not have the answer's you are looking for. Fortunately, I have forwarded your email to the Army G-1's Maj. Tim Beninato who may be able to assist you. V/r MC2 William Selby

      • Soo Lee

        Thanks for your sincere reply for my poor wring.

        I wish there is a higher staff in DOD like the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. I go to a college utilizing the Post 9/11 program and received the $3,000.00 which I am paying back(is taken away every month for $250.00 per month for 12 months). If the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs can pay first and do the paperwork later, why the President and the congress can't.

        In my humble opinion, their good intentions are not well carried out through the chain of commend.

        Thank you.

        Soo Lee,

  • Ehenry15

    Can someone please tell me that I'm not the only one who is a little sketched out over this process. First, I get this letter in a week ago, I've never heard of this at all. Everytime I call the phone number, it is busy. When I type in the web address, my computer tells me that there is a security issue with the web page. My computer also advises me that is I dis-reguard their warning and continue to the web page to NOT put ANY personal information on to this web page. Plus, why is the DoD sending out letters, shouldn't it be coming through the VA, that's where my disability comes through, and thats where we had to go to when they gave out the $1000 one-time combat pay. All through the VA, this just seems really, really sketchy to me. The only thing that bothers me is the presidental speech, that DOES look legit. Somebody please convince me one way or thte other, cause I was only stop lossed for a little over 4 months, and believe me when I say that $2000 dollars isn't worth my identity being stolen!!!

    • SGT101stAirborne

      I received my letter from the VA. It is legit, the problem is just getting your money. You know as well as the rest of the veterans on here that the Federal government will do what it can to not pay you, but if you owe them money its gone the next day. I have been having issues just applying as I was in the Army and the Army’s website only states that you are elgible prior to Oct 1 2008. I was stop lossed after said date, early 2009. I am just having issues getting through to find out how to apply.

    • SGT101stAirborne

      I received my letter from the VA. It is legit, the problem is just getting your money. You know as well as the rest of the veterans on here that the Federal government will do what it can to not pay you, but if you owe them money its gone the next day. I have been having issues just applying as I was in the Army and the Army’s website only states that you are elgible prior to Oct 1 2008. I was stop lossed after said date, early 2009. I am just having issues getting through to find out how to apply.

  • Militarymother2003

    wow…i just received my letter stating i am eligible..i cant get through to anyone on the phone, and having same issues with website..i am not putting in my sensitve information for hackers to steal….and who else did not keep their original orders to iraq and the letter stating the stop loss?? I have my dd214..but not the other paperwork….seems to me this is going to be another post 911 GI Bill mess…that i am having to pay back 3000.00 for and not even going to school because of that fiasco……anyone have any solutions?? why should i even bother??

    • http://www.dodlive.mil DoDLive

      Good Morning,
      Thank you for visiting DoDLive and posting a comment. Defense Media Activity does not handle Retro Stop Loss pay claims. However, if you'd like to provide me with more information via email, I will forward that information to the Army G-1's Maj. Tim Beninato who may be able to further assist you. V/r MC2 William Selby

  • SGT101stAirborne

    I just was on the Army's website to apply for my stop loss payment. The VA website as well as the Defense Department website state that “Service members,

    veterans, and beneficiaries of service members whose service was

    involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept.

    30, 2009 are eligible for RSLSP.” Then why is it that when I am on the Army's RSLSP website you are only elgible prior to Sep 08? I was stop lossed prior to Jan and Feb of 09, I do not understand why I am not eligible through the army's website? I emailed the email that was given and was told that the email account listed does not handle the Oct 08 and beyond and would have to email a different address. I feel as if I am receiving a run around. I am not quite sure how to even apply if I ever receive an email back from that other account.

    • http://www.dodlive.mil DoDLive

      Good Morning,

      Thank you for visiting DoDLive and for leaving your comment. I work for Defense Media Activity and run the DoDLive website. Unfortunately, we do not handle stop loss claims. However, if you'd be willing to forward me more information via email I can forward that information to the Army G-1's Maj. Tim Beninato who may be able to further assist you.
      V/r MC2 William Selby

  • Ray garcia

    Im glad that soldiers are getting the money they deserve. But on the other side I cant get an answer as far where my payment is, I call the 1-877 number send multiple emails and no answer yet as far where is my payment is. can anybody tell me what else I can do. My claim go back July 21 and I havent received a payment yet.

  • Rich

    I ETS in Sept/2002 but was told I was on stop loss so could not leave (which I was ok with). I never re-enlisted. Feb/2003 received orders then spent a year in Iraq. I was told that your stop loss had to begin while you were either mobilized/deployed and already in country. 2 friends of mine while we were in Iraq together ETS in june 2003 but stop loss kept them in, and they received a payment. I ETS 5 months before deploying to Iraq, was still in Iraq with my buddies, still couldnt get out like my buddies cause of stop loss, but I am not eligible for any retro payment? I went to my National Gaurd Headquarters and was told that knowine from the state was eligible only a small handfull. My full length of stop loss was Sept/2002 to Aug/2004 when I was told Icould either stay in or leave. 23 months total, 12 spent in Iraq. Anything I should know about this? was I given mis information? please send emails for anything I need to know about this.

    • http://www.dodlive.mil DoDLive

      Good Morning,
      Thank you for visiting DoDLive and for leaving your comment. Unfortunately, Defense Media Activity is not involved in the Stop Loss claim process. We have merely hosted roundtables discussing the topic. However, if you forward me your name and Stop Loss case number via email, I will be sure and forward that information to someone who may be able to assist you. Thanks again. V/r MC2 William Selby.

  • G.Barajas

    Good afternoon, I was Stop Loss for 407 days. I filed my stop loss claim on 8/01/2010 and have not heard anything from anyone. I've sent messages through the status web site and nobody has responded either. I've been calling for the past 3 weeks now and I can't even leave a message because the mail box is full. If anyone can please tell me who can give me the status of my claim I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Soo Lee

    To God:
    What is the status for Case number: RSL00115851
    Soo Lee

  • RONNIE PEELS JR

    I’ve been denied. I served 8 months In Iraq longer then I was suppose to, due to stop loss yet I have been denied this doesn’t seem right. I have already applied for reconsideration but I fear that I don’t have proper documentation. I know that me being stop loss should be In the GOV. Data base why am I a former soldier being turned down. Help me figure this out and get the money I deserve.

    Ronnie Peels Jr.
    RSLOO107364

  • MR Romance

    I sent in my paper work on August 11th. Im still waiting for my check . Case Numbe# RSL00096923. My only response back was early Novemeber. Still checking on the status for that. Thank you..
    -SGT TORRES

  • MR Romance

    I sent in my paper work on August 11th. Im still waiting for my check . Case Numbe# RSL00096923. My only response back was early Novemeber. Still checking on the status for that. Im really relying on it now, I got un employed…Thank you..
    -SGT TORRES

  • Ret USAF

    My retired (2004) USMC spouse was denied. Apparently a signed letter by his Commanding Officer that he was retained is not an acceptable document. He must submit his denied request for retirement. Strange because the MC would not even accept such a document! I cannot apply because when the USAF returned my original disapproved application to Separate for the date I requested in 2002 I did not keep the document so I have no proof.
    Is congress aware of how many E-2s work Admim and lose our paperwork or give us incorrect information? I also was told to resubmit my request late, that none were being approved.

  • Myron Scott Holt

    I have bot heard anything. Waiting for a response to see if my papers have been reviewed.

  • US Army Ret

    I submitted my claim back on 15 Aug. I received and email that informed me it was approved and to expect payment within 45 days of September 17. I have yet so see any money and when I tried calling the phone number or sending a follow up email to RetroStopLossPay@conus.army.mil to check the status, I get a voice mail recording or a postmaster email stating the message was non deliverable. So I have no way of following up on the status of this check. Stop Loss Payment Case Number RSL00102005-1R

  • Dee Andy

    Still trying to contact the personnel to get a status on the claim. I submitted in Sept my 90days has not came around yet but i would appreciate a status from them. The only thing i received is a claim number, nothing further. I have emailed and not reply. Thanks

  • Russell Wert, Esq.

    My story is similar to some of the posters here. I kept all documents I was given. I contacted my national guard headquarters and they cooperated, overnighting whatever documents they had. Thus, I put together as solid a claim as I can. 90 days has elapsed, and I have not heard back regarding my claim. I have called, and emailed, still no results.

    The law authorizing payment says that specific forms are not needed, and other paperwork is allowable, proving stoploss. Thus, proof of payment and orders and lack of re-enlistment should prove your case.

    Rest assured, my fellow veterans, that I will fight every battle and make every argument possible to ensure the DOD fulfills it’s legal obligations for my claim.

    Do not walk away discouraged!

    Best,

    Russell R. Wert, Esq.

  • Sblaess

    I am a retired Special Forces Sergeant Major and was “stop lossed” in December 2001. I had submitted an application for retirement shortly after 9/11 and was given a control number with an approved retirement date sometime in 2002. Since I was stop lossed prior to any retirement orders being cut, I have no proof (written documentation) showing I was actually stopped lossed since I was on indefinite status. I have applied for retroactive stop loss pay, but have not heard anything.

    I have contacted the transition office within SF Branch, but they have not been able to provide me any information. I understand they are the ones that assign control numbers for retirement.

    Can anyone help?

  • Scorpion 1A

    My Stoploss was from August 2002 till September 2004. I was in Iraq from April 2003 till April 2004. I submitted my paperwork in September 2010 and have had NO contact from the Stoploss Office. If you call their number you get a recording that says the message box is full. If you email it does not go thru so they can receive a message…..what gives? My next step is to contact someone in my State (NY) and see what can be done.
    Thanks For Your Time,
    Scorpion 1A – Military Police

  • Naplesbob1

    How is it;that they know how many rounds I fired on a particular day, who was with me on missions, and how many gallons my Bradley burned on each mission; but they can’t figure out how much they owe me? FUBAR is all I can come up with.

  • Jaisel1

    My account of this highly encouraged application process is the same. Sent in application on 12 Oct 2010. Was supposed to receive a confirmation letter via email with a control number.That did not happen. Finally got the control number by calling the number provided for my branch of service. The only other thing I was told was that the application was received but still pending. At that time it had been posted as 6-8 weeks process time.. Then it was changed to 10-12 weeks. It has been over 13 weeks now. The response last week was, “…well sir keep in mind we are going through the holidays “I think whoever is making the decision on the apps need to keep in mind we have been waiting 9 years.I agree with Naplesbob1 they know exactly who they stopped lossed and how long. Why all the red tape? I have not personely talked to anyone that has received a dime yet. I am going to try again tomorrow but expecting the same responce, “Still pending”

  • Bitmepls

    I too have had the same results as many that have commented here. Call their number for a status and their voice mail box is full. Try and send an email and it is rejected (at least the one for the Army). This is a real joke and it is clear that A) the DoD is just demonstrating complete and total incompetence or B) this was really meant to be a real benefit, something that was just offered up in the hopes that nobody would actually apply.

  • Scorpion 1A

    This is my second post : 2 Months ago I posted a note stating I have not recevied any payment from “Stoploss”. I filed in September of 2010 and so far have received 3 e-mails. The first one in late October 2010 that stated my paperwork was received and it would be processed in the order it was received. In December 2010 I received another e-mail that stated I would receive a e-mail in January of 2011 and that they have a huge backlog. In mid January 2011 I received another e-mail that I would receive another…see where I am going with this. Well here it is March 2nd 2011 and I have ONLY received 3 e-mails that all state they have a HUGE backlog. Why not hire Veterans to help out with this process ? ..I will keep all posted next month (or sooner) when I receive another e-mail.
    Thanks For Your Time,
    Scorpion 1A