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What Is The PACT Act?

We have been seeing this question on social media over the last week, so we wanted to share a quick re-cap of the Act for those who are wondering.

The PACT Act, or Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, is a federal law that was enacted in August 2022 to expand healthcare and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. Here are some key details about the PACT Act:

  • It expands VA health care eligibility to post-9/11 combat veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins during their service. Burn pits were commonly used to dispose of waste on military bases and have been linked to respiratory issues and cancers.
  • The law adds 23 presumptive conditions for burn pit and toxin exposure, meaning veterans who develop these conditions will not have to prove the connection to their military service to receive disability benefits. These include several respiratory diseases, cancers, and other illnesses.
  • It requires VA to provide toxic exposure screenings to all veterans enrolled in VA health care. This aims to better identify related illnesses and get veterans appropriate care and benefits.
  • The PACT Act directs VA to establish 31 new VA health care facilities in areas with large veteran populations to increase access to care.
  • It expands presumptions related to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War to veterans who served in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Guam.
  • The law also extends Gulf War Illness presumptions to veterans who served in the Gulf War from August 1990 to February 1991, regardless of location.

So in summary, the PACT Act significantly broadens health care coverage and disability benefits for veterans exposed to toxic hazards across different eras of service. It aims to provide care and assistance to veterans suffering health effects from burn pits and other toxins.

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