Army addresses glitches, improves stop-loss compensation site
November 14, 2009
ARLINGTON, Va. — Some soldiers attempting to apply online for retroactive stop-loss payments found themselves looking at an error message in the days after the Army began accepting applications last month.
The problem was as simple as one missing letter in the address. The service promptly addressed that problem and went further to ease applicants frustration by providing a categorized breakdown of the application’s status, said Maj. Roy Whitley, project manager for the compensation program.
For the first 10 days or so after application site went live on Oct. 21, people were entering “http” instead of “https” when typing the Web site address.
“It doesn’t matter now: ‘Http’ will direct you to the ‘https’ site, and it’s an error that won’t occur anymore,” Whitley said Friday.
The Army estimates about 120,000 people are eligible to be compensated if they or their loved one were held beyond the scheduled end of their service since 2001, but only about 8,000 have applied.
People keep asking about the status of their claims, Whitley said, but the Army cannot e-mail each one of them individually.
“We’re not Amazon.com,” he said.
A scale of 1 through 6 was devised, Whitley said, to separate applications in which all the documents have been filed and verified from applications that are incomplete or need additional verification.
Whitley added that it was unclear when compensation checks would begin being sent.
Application status categories
Category 1: Official records show that the applicant was stop-lossed, the applicant has submitted all the required documentation and both the applicant and the Army agree for how long the applicant was involuntarily kept in the service.
Category 2: The applicant did not submit all the supporting documentation. Like Category 1, the turnaround time for these applications should be short.
Category 3: It’s clear that the applicant was stop-lossed, but the Army and applicant disagree for how long.
Category 4: It’s unknown whether the applicant was stop-lossed.
Category 5: Problem applications. The Army needs to investigate the claim and file it electronically for the applicant.
Category 6: This is for severely wounded soldiers who cannot file a claim for themselves, so the Army will do it for them.
Applicants who don’t have access computers can mail their applications to:
Retro Stop-Loss Special Pay5109 Leesburg Pike Suite 302Falls Church, VA 22041