About The PACT Act

The PACT Act advances a top priority of the VA and the VFW – getting more veterans into VA care. Three new categories of veterans will be phased into receiving hospital care, medical services and nursing home care.

What is the PACT Act?

The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances.

What VA benefits were added with the PACT Act?

The PACT Act adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures in addition to adding more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.

What VA health care benefits were added with the PACT Act?

The PACT Act expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic-exposures and veterans of the Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and post-9/11 era. Below are ways this has been implemented:

  • Increases the period of time veterans have to enroll in VA health care from five to 10 years following discharge for post-9/11 combat veterans. This is known as Enhanced Enrollment.
  • VA has opened the Enhanced Enrollment to ALL eligible veterans from Oct. 1, 2022, through Oct. 1, 2023.
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care.

Can veterans’ survivors get compensated under the PACT Act?

Yes and in some cases, VA may contact survivors who were previously denied VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) benefits. You do not need to wait for VA to contact you to submit a claim though.

What changes were made for Vietnam-era veterans?

VA has added two new conditions to the Agent Orange presumptive list: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS).

How do I know if I’ve been exposed to burn pits?

The PACT Act determined that veterans who served in any of the below locations on or after Aug. 2, 1990, had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. We call this having a presumption of exposure.

  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • The United Arab Emirates

Additionally the PACT Act determined that veterans who served in any of the below locations on or after Sept. 11, 2001, had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. The PACT Act includes the airspace above any of the following locations.

  • Afghanistan
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen

I filed a claim under PACT Act, but have seen no action yet. When will my claim be rated?

With the PACT Act being signed into law on 8/10/2022, many veterans have submitted their claims. VA has stated it will begin processing PACT Act claims January 2023.

What should I do if I think I was exposed or have more PACT Act questions?

If you or a loved one experienced toxic exposure while serving in the military, we urge you to answer a few quick questions regarding your service and get referred to a VFW Accredited Service Officer. Please note that with the PACT Act, many predatory organizations have appeared and are charging exorbitant fees for their services. The VFW has never and will never charge for our services as it is our mission to ensure that every veteran receives the benefits they earned.

I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, did I drink contaminated water?

VA has stated that from August 1953-December 1987 that the water of Camp Lejeune was contaminated. If you were stationed there during this time, please answer a few quick questions regarding your service and get referred to a VFW Accredited Service Officer.

If you’ve already met with a VFW Accredited Service Officer and determined pursuing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is right for you, contact a VFW-entrusted law firm today. While VFW cannot predict the outcome of these lawsuits, these firms have agreed to certain standards of practice in working with affected veterans.