Veterans, troops whose service was extended can apply. The Pentagon says more than $300 million is waiting to be claimed by service members who qualify for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. But time is running out. The deadline to file a claim is Oct. 21, 2010. The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act authorized the extra pay for service members, veterans and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended under the stop loss program between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009. Eligible service members can receive $500 for every month or partial month they served in stop loss status. The average benefit is $3,700, but less than half of the $534 million set aside by Congress had been claimed as of mid-September. According to Department of Defense websites, the slow influx of claims may be due to misconceptions in the military community that by accepting the extra pay, members somehow obligate themselves to further service. But in a video posted at the Pentagon website, President Obama assures service members that there are no strings attached. "This is no gimmick or trick. You worked hard. You earned this money," he said. To claim their benefits, eligible service members must complete and submit Department of Defense Form 2944, Claim for Retroactive Stop Loss Payment, per their specific service instructions. Don't wait until the last minute to file, because additional documentation must be gathered and sent in with the application. Get complete details at Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.