The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act or PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions that we assume (or “presume”) are caused by exposure to these substances. This law helps provide generations of Veterans – and their survivors visit https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/#information-for-survivors) – for more assistance with the care and benefits earned and deserve.
The PACT Act will bring these changes:
- Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
- Adds 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures
- Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
- Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
- Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures
If you are a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act related benefits.
Veterans Affairs officials are now accepting claims for all presumptive illnesses included in the massive toxic legislation signed into law on August 10, 2022, including cases concerning burn pit smoke and carcinogenic chemicals that were not scheduled to go into effect for several more years.
The more will likely result in a spike in backlogged claims in coming months, potentially opening department leaders to criticism that they are overworking staffers and underdelivering on promises to Veterans. However, senior VA staff say they believe the move will get Veterans and their family members new benefits and health care faster some as soon as early 2023. You can also call the VA at 800-698-2422 (TTY: 711). And you can file a claim for PACT Act-related disability compensation or apply for VA health care now. To file a disability-claim online visit (https://www.va.gov/disability/file-disability-claim-form-21-526ez/) or call 1-800-My VA-411 (1-800-698-2411.