Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Monday encouraged Central and South Coast soldiers whose service was extended under stop-loss orders in Iraq and Afghanistan to apply for retroactive pay.

Service members have until Oct. 21 to apply for retroactive pay. Those eligible for retroactive pay will receive $500 a month for each month their service was extended. The Defense Department estimates that while 145,400 soldiers are eligible, only 58,000 claims have been paid.

“Our brave men and women in uniform have made tremendous sacrifices for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have done everything that we have asked of them,” Capps said. “In 2009, we passed legislation to compensate our service members for tours that were extended in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the deadline fast approaching, I urge all eligible troops to submit their claims so that they can receive the retroactive pay they earned through their dedicated service. I would urge any service members with questions about how to submit their claim to contact my office.”

In 2009, Capps voted for legislation to establish retroactive stop loss special pay. It allows troops whose service was involuntarily extended between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009, to file claims in order to receive retroactive pay if eligible. The average benefit is $3,800.

Click here for more information or to submit a claim. Click here to contact Capps’ office.

— Ashley Schapitl is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.