The PACT Act is a historic new law that will help VA provide health care and benefits to millions of toxic-exposed Veterans and their survivors. Since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on August 10, VA has been hard at work implementing this landmark bipartisan legislation—and Veterans have already begun to apply for the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

Here’s an update on what’s happened since August 10th:

Veterans are applying for the PACT Act benefits they deserve

The day after the PACT Act was signed into law (August 11), Veterans set an all-time record for filing online disability compensation claims. Since the PACT Act was signed, Veterans have filed more than 200,000 total claims—an increase of more than 21% over the same period last year. And to date, VA has already received more than 70,000 PACT Act-related claims from Veterans since August 10.

Thousands of Veterans participated in toxic exposure screening pilot

As a part of the PACT Act, VA will begin providing 5-minute toxic exposure screenings to all Veterans enrolled in VA health care. On September 6, VA began a pilot of this program—screening 13,380 Veterans across 12 medical centers over a 2-week period, and finding a 37.4% concern of exposure among those Veterans. These results will help VA make toxic exposure screenings available to all Veterans in early November, and more importantly, make sure that VA provides all toxic-exposed Veterans with the care they need and the benefits they deserve.  

VA expedited the timeline to deliver benefits to Veterans as soon as possible

Instead of phasing-in conditions over the coming years (as outlined in the legislation), the Biden Administration decided to make all conditions in the PACT Act presumptive for benefits as of August 10, the day the bill was signed into law. We will begin processing these benefits on the earliest date possible, which is January 1.

VA will expand health care eligibility in October

On October 1, VA will expand and extend eligibility for VA health care for certain Veterans of the Gulf Wars and post-9/11 era. This expansion will increase health care eligibility for hundreds of thousands of toxic-exposed Veterans. Additionally, VA has already expanded health care eligibility for certain Veterans of the Vietnam War. More detailed information about this expansion can be found on VA.gov/PACT.

Meeting Veterans where they are

Within minutes of the PACT Act passing the Senate, VA launched VA.gov/PACT—a one-stop-shop website where Veterans and their families can learn about the PACT Act and apply for health care or benefits. This website, which is available in English and Spanish, has garnered nearly 2.5 million views to date.

Apply now. VA encourages Veterans and survivors to apply now for the PACT Act-related benefits and care they deserve. All Veterans and survivors can go to VA.gov/PACT or call us at 1-800-MYVA411 to learn more about what this legislation means for them.

By Office of Media Relations

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Published on Sep. 28, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.4 min.

Views to date: 14,666

26 Comments

  1. Melvin Gaddis October 20, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    To establish a Log.gov account too much red-tape or information for me to follow or understand

  2. Tiffany Daniel October 17, 2022 at 8:40 am

    Good day, is there someone that can speak in an open forum this Saturday to explain the registration and next steps for a small veteran group in person or virtually. Please contact me. Thanks you.

  3. Brian October 5, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    So claim’s involving pactAct won’t be looking into until of the 1st of the year?

  4. Roger K Laughlin October 5, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    I APPLIED FOR DIABETES MELLITUS IN 2015 WHEN THE FOUR BASES I SERVED ON FROM 1972 TO 1976 IN THAILAND WERE IDENTIFIED AS HAVING AGENT ORANGE. UNDER THE POLICY AT THAT TIME THE VA REQUESTED I PROVE MY EXPOSURE WHICH I DID NOT ATTEMPT TO DO. I RECENTLY PUT IN A REQUEST UNDER THE PACT ACT AND HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT I MUST SUBMIT A SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM FOR DISAGREEING WITH THEIR INITIAL DECISION. OBVIOUSLY UNDER THE PACT ACT WHICH QUALIFIES ME FOR COMPENSATION I DO NOT SEE A NEED FOR ME TO PUT IN A SUPPLEMENTAL CLAIM AS THE PROCESS USED IN 2015 IS NO LONGER APPLICABLE!! TRYING TO RESOLVE BUT JUST GETTING THE RUN AROUND!!

    [Editor: If more than 365 days have passed since your last claim decision, you must file a new claim. To VA, the word “supplemental” simply means that you have already filed your one first “initial” claim. After that, every subsequent claim is “supplemental.”]

    • Tina October 26, 2022 at 5:21 pm

      Go to VA.gov and search Per Agent Orange exposure and VA disability compensation.

      You must have served in at least one of these locations that we’ve added based on the PACT Act.

      Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976.”
      If you served in one of the following locations, you may be eligible for VA medical and disability benefits:

      That said, Resubmit on VA Form 21-0996

      13A. Diabetes Mellitus: Conditions due to in-service exposure to environmental hazards during my tour in Thailand. “PACT ACT 2022 Presumptive”.

      13B. Date of VA Decision Notice: This is the date that they first denied your Diabetes Mellitus.

      If you served in one of the following locations, you may be eligible for VA medical and disability benefits:
      • Vietnam from Jan. 9, 1962, through May 7, 1975.
      • Thailand at any U.S. or Royal Thai base from Jan. 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976.
      Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

  5. Bern meter October 3, 2022 at 7:19 pm

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR LIFE WAITING FOR BENEFITS. DO NOT LET ANYONE MAKE YOU A VICTIM.

    • Steven Santucci October 6, 2022 at 9:03 am

      This is a new law, apply for it. I have been denied 3 times already by the high level regime. But I don’t give up. I am fighting and waiting for almost 3 years to get my case heard by a Administrative Judge. I know I will win my case. 70% of applicants win their case. I have no disabilities. By Brother-in-law went from 30% to 70% in 3 months. He was 30% for 50 years didn’t know he could get more. This was before the Pact Act was signed into law. This is a good law, in the long run it will Veterans. Every Veteran I know has some sort of disability, we all do when you serve, they won’t admit it. The military gave it to us. You know it, I know they know it. We have to get them to admit it. RepubliCONS don’t help either. Neither do SOME Democrats. Thanks for your time.

  6. Johnny Baker September 29, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Vietnam veteran

  7. Tommy Hargrove September 29, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    What happened to our clothing allowance???

    • Steven Santucci October 6, 2022 at 9:07 am

      Did you use your allowance? We have Stand Down Day here in Rochester where they help with some clothing. It is offered by the VA Outreach Center. They may be able to help. There are VA officers in your area that can assist. Contact a VA rep to help you. On their sight on the top right you can ask for help or call the 800# they can assist.

  8. Susie Queen September 29, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    What a bunch of bullcrap ! As it is you can’t even get an appointment now imagine adding millions of people. Now we have appointments a year out. People will soon be dying

    • Kimberly Hall October 6, 2022 at 1:20 am

      I believe your comment is horrible, especially as a veteran. I know you have a right to post this, but I believe all veterans deserve the compensation and benefits they deserve. I was a Gulf War veteran and I’ve had cancer and a precancer that caused me to lose body parts, both of which are now presumptive conditions. Fortunately, I’m 90% already due to 12 other surgeries and conditions, however I’ve had a total of 18 surgeries and can no longer have children, not that I want to at my current age. If I can’t get an appointment in a timely manner, I go through community care. Ask your provider if that is a possibility for you, but don’t condemn veterans who are in need of help as well.

    • Steven Santucci October 6, 2022 at 9:17 am

      Why can’t you get an appt????? I don’t have any problems. What state do you live in??? You nay have a problem if you live in a Red State. I live in Rochester New York and a new VA Center was built about 5 years ago also have a huge VA Canandaigua that has been remodeled and adding over 100 rooms for homeless Veterans. The only thing we don’t get unless your 100% disabled service connected, POW, or received the Congressional Medal of Honor is Dental.

  9. Floyd Howard September 29, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    What about a veteran who was attacked by a K K K and put in the hospital for almost 4 months and the US Navy cover it up from day one and veteran have been dealing with the LIES and cover up since 1970

    • Ronald October 7, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      The whole entire military will TELL you racism doesn’t exist in the military. As a matter of fact, no one in the military or civilians want to touch the RACE issues. It’s quite obvious that most White people benefit from racism and therefore don’t REALLY want things to change. What really get everyones attention is saying that someone called you a gay —- or a — something. That will get you media publicity, interviews and your story might even go viral.

      • John Jackson III October 11, 2022 at 8:47 pm

        Please understand that not all white people are against you. In fact the majority of white Americans have been against slavery and discrimination since the beginning of our country. The problem is that white Americans do not understand what to do or what minorities have gone through. Please understand that the majority of us whites care very much. There would never have been a Civil War to stop slavery or any of the serious progress that all of us have made to understand and take a stand against inequality and discrimination otherwise. We care but need to be educated about the issues and how to fight them. Please don’t discriminate against the significant majority of whites who care and are willing to stand with you against the radicals and there indefensible prejudices. Semper Fi!

  10. James Gibbs September 29, 2022 at 4:51 pm

    Interesting! Gonna check this out!
    Jim Gibbs-AZ vet

  11. Mark P September 29, 2022 at 7:13 am

    So, here it is months since the PACT was signed and I’ve not received any information from the VA about benefits and I am registered in the Burn Pit/ Hazardous airborne registry and even had an exam. I’ve been waiting almost 3 years for an appeal for disability claim, (and the claim is based on a presumptive condition now).

  12. John bostjohnbost 48@hotmail.com September 29, 2022 at 5:52 am

    If u already have a claim on hypertension that was turned down and refilled before the pact act passed on agent orange exposure in s korea in 67-68, do you need to refile when it at the NBA in Washington DC

    [Editor: It is not necessary, nor a requirement, nor even beneficial to file an appeal in D.C. In fact, you can now file appeals online: https://news.va.gov/104545/veterans-can-now-file-an-appeal-online-with-the-board-of-veterans-appeals/ ]

  13. Joseph Alexander September 29, 2022 at 4:06 am

    Will I get paid through the PactAct?

    • Paul Harrell Barfield September 29, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      I WAS DENIED EVEN THOUGH I meet all criteria. I am completely dependent for all things

  14. Lisa Canti September 29, 2022 at 2:29 am

    Let me tell you my experience! A VA benefits rep advised me to wait for the VA to review my denied claim & said they would call me. I said “NO” I’m gonna be at the front of the line not the back. He couldn’t wait to get off the phone. So I filed on 8/18/22 & was denied & sent letter by 9/17/22, bc although the VA knew this law was in the works their VSO reps weren’t ready/aware of how to file those claims & wont be trained until sometime in October. Filed again on 9/8 only to find out that my VSO’s direct submit is flawed & claim was never received. Now I’m on my 3rd filing & still VSO sent direct submit but this time thru the regional office so they could forward for him. This is an absolute mess. President Biden said “file don’t wait” yeah right. To even complicate things more my husband was exposed to a little known incident that these reps aren’t familiar with. My husband is now deceased but bet ur backside im gonna fight for this till my dying day!! He suffered severely. I even have letters from as far back as 2009 when we went to a clinic & even then he was dismissed. It’s still the deny, deny till they die. I have plenty of evidence to back my claim & I intend to fight with everything I have!! I still have a child at home who’s in school. Get ready folks, this isn’t gonna be easy to get what our veterans/survivors deserve.

  15. Harvey C. Jones September 28, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    What if I was on a Guided Missile during the Viet Nam War at sea, will I be eligible for any kind of health insurance or VA benefits?

    • Tim September 29, 2022 at 10:56 pm

      Blue Water…research

  16. BILLY F SMITH September 28, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    DOES THIS INCLUDE VETERANS THAT SERVED IN OPERATION DOMINIC 2, IN 1962 OFF OF CHRISTMAS ISLAND DURING ATOMIC TEST?

    • Lisa Cantu September 29, 2022 at 2:34 am

      Look up the new law, it says what incidents it covers. My husband was in Palmares Spain in 1966, which he was involuntarily extended to participate in. He was exposed to plutonium from bombs that dropped & were detonated but did not explode. Secretary Hillary Clinton was involved in negotiations with Spain in 2010 with their Gov’t regarding additional cleanup & they wanna tell me “No:. Not acceptable!

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