The PACT Act And Your VA Benefits – Veterans Affairs

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The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. This law helps us provide generations of Veterans — and their survivors — with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.
This page will help answer your questions about what the PACT Act means for you or your loved ones. You can also call us at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711). And you can file a claim for PACT Act-related disability compensation or apply for VA health care now.
The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.
The PACT Act will bring these changes:
If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits.
To get a VA disability rating, your disability must connect to your military service. For many health conditions, you need to prove that your service caused your condition. 
But for some conditions, we automatically assume (or “presume”) that your service caused your condition. We call these “presumptive conditions.”
We consider a condition presumptive when it's established by law or regulation.
If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
We’ve added more than 20 burn pit and other toxic exposure presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act. This change expands benefits for Gulf War era and post-9/11 Veterans.
These cancers are now presumptive:
These illnesses are now presumptive:
If you served in any of these locations and time periods, we’ve determined that you had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. We call this having a presumption of exposure.
On or after September 11, 2001, in any of these locations:
On or after August 2, 1990, in any of these locations:
We’re extending and expanding VA health care eligibility based on the PACT Act. We encourage you to apply, no matter your separation date. Your eligibility depends on your service history and other factors.
If you meet the requirements listed here, you can get free VA health care for any condition related to your service for up to 10 years from the date of your most recent discharge or separation. You can also enroll at any time during this period and get any care you need, but you may owe a copay for some care.
At least one of these must be true of your active-duty service:
And this must be true for you:
We encourage you to enroll now so we can provide any care you may need now or in the future. Enrollment is free.
If you meet the requirements listed here, you can receive care and enroll during a special enrollment period between October 1, 2022, and October 1, 2023.
At least one of these must be true of your active-duty service:
And both of these must be true for you:
We encourage you to apply during this 1-year period so we can provide you with any care you may need now or in the future. Enrollment is free. And your care may be free as well.
Based on the PACT Act, we’ve added 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions:
If you think you’re eligible for VA health care and benefits, we encourage you to apply now.
We’ve added these 5 new locations to the list of presumptive locations:
If you served on active duty in any of these locations, we’ll automatically assume (or “presume”) that you had exposure to Agent Orange.
We’ve added these 3 new response efforts to the list of presumptive locations:
If you took part in any of these efforts, we’ll automatically assume (or “presume”) that you had exposure to radiation.
If you haven’t filed a claim yet for the presumptive condition, you can file a new claim online now. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.
File for VA disability compensation online
Learn more about how to file a disability compensation claim
If we denied your disability claim in the past and we now consider your condition presumptive, you can submit a Supplemental Claim. We’ll review your case again.
Find out how to file a Supplemental Claim
We encourage you to file a Supplemental Claim. When we receive a Supplemental Claim, we’ll review the claim again.
Find out how to file a Supplemental Claim
Note: If we denied your claim in the past and we think you may be eligible now, we’ll try to contact you. But you don’t need to wait for us to contact you before you file a Supplemental Claim.
You don’t need to do anything. If we added your condition after you filed your claim, we’ll still consider it presumptive. We’ll send you a decision notice when we complete our review.
Yes. We’re considering all presumptive conditions established by the PACT Act presumptive on the date the bill becomes law.
If you think you may be eligible for VA health care or benefits, we encourage you to apply now.
We encourage all Veterans and survivors to file for benefits now. We’ll start to process PACT Act-related benefits in January 2023. We must wait for funding approval from Congress and put the needed systems in place before we can process these claims.
If you apply for benefits at any time in the next year and we grant your application, we’ll likely backdate your benefits to the date of the bill signing. This means we’ll pay you the amount you would have received from August 10, 2022, to the date we grant your application.
Yes. If you’re a surviving family member of a Veteran, you may be eligible for these benefits:
You can submit a new application for VA dependency and indemnity compensation (VA DIC). 
Learn about VA DIC and how to apply
Note: If we denied your claim in the past and we think you may be eligible now, we’ll try to contact you. We may be able to reevaluate your claim. But you don’t need to wait for us to contact you before you reapply.
You may be eligible for these VA benefits as the surviving family member of a Veteran:
Learn more about family member benefits
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