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March 3, 2023

The PACT Act - Disability benefits due to Agent Orange or other Toxins

Read our newest blog post about The PACT Act here.

Read the Transcript From This Video From Central Valley Today:

The Pact Act is a New Hope for those who

are fighting for benefits or those who

have been denied disability benefits due

to agent orange or other toxins so here

with us today to raise awareness is Greg

Steen CEO of senior care advocate so I

was doing a little research and this is

this is good news for vets out there so

what's The Pact act it's great news it's

probably the biggest

new law that's come down the pike for

the VA ever and it's it's such great

news so it was really designed to go

back and correct a lot of wrongful

denials and open up

presumptive claims for people that were

maybe in the past having to prove that

or anything they were suffering from was

you know service connected when in

reality they shouldn't have to prove it

and so it really opens up so much it's

also for surviving spouses anybody who

is you know

denied in the past they can go back and

have that reopened yeah so it's

amazing news it's great news it really

is and it comes from such an interesting

time in American history so tell us why

this is so important

well first of all I think we deserve

excuse me our veterans deserve

everything we can do for them because

you know they they're at risk obviously

and a lot of them never came back so

when they have things like you know Home

Loans or education benefits or you know

service connected benefits those are

awesome and they're very very good but

there's so much more there and the VA

says you know their own quote is that

for all their benefits

um less than 50 percent of all veterans

take advantage of any of them so I think

it's important that we obviously

recognize they're there and then help

people stare them in the right direction

because there's so many veterans that

are suffering I mean obviously the

homeless we all know about that homeless

veterans it's it's it's really sad but

there's so many that are just not being

helped and they're suffering and soon

and so why why do you think that is I

mean I hear so my boyfriend was in the

Army and he he talks about that a lot

that there are so many benefits the

people either don't know about or they

don't know how to access so why do you

think that is

a couple things

sadly I think the VA doesn't do a great

job of informing that upon return

secondly the veterans service offices

are welming people great people but

completely overwhelmed and can only do

basically what's you know the task at

hand yeah they don't have time to follow

up and whatnot the educational aspect of

the VA is really lacking but also you

have veterans maybe not like you know

the younger ones but the older ones that


kind of um not wanting to be a burden on

the system so they'll say things like

hey I'm okay leave it for those who need

it more that type of thing but I think

the big thing is just not understanding

what's there yeah and not really

understanding what the what the purpose

is because leaving it for somebody that

there that's there is a really good

intention but really you're just leaving

benefits on the table going unused

absolutely so we want people to be able

to tap into that you so you mentioned

when we're talking about

um The Pact act that surviving spouses

can qualify absolutely and so what might

they qualify for so they can qualify for

back pay based upon an award that should

have been given they can qualify

sometimes for an Indemnity benefit which

is ongoing income they can qualify maybe

for a service connected pension through

that that's ongoing income

um and so there's you know lots of ways

of uh of helping people be because you

know on these spouse especially for the

older generation they paid a price too

yeah right when they loved and went off

you know and served they were there they

kind of held down the fort and did a lot

of things that they had to do

um I think that they should get

something absolutely I mean you operate

as a family unit and so you should you

should your benefit should be awarded to

the family unit so the The Pact Act is

is it specifically for

um people that might have had

repercussions because of Agent Orange

and other toxins or is it does it cover

people who were asked to prove that they

had a service related injury or

something like that so good question

um the short answer is yes it's for

basically you know agent orange all the

toxins yeah

um Airborne type of things and it's also

for people that were denied that could

go back and now that these things are uh

presumed to be you know caused by this

the VA would basically rubber stamp it

and say yes you know that was a cause we

owed you money we're going to go back

and pay you those minis so it's not for

just anybody and everybody that has any

kind of

um you know service connection issue but

the great thing is on va.gov there's so

much information as far as every type of

thing that's covered how you qualify how

you can apply

um you know the process the timelines

it's very very specific I literally was

just on it before we came on and it's

like man they actually did a great job

this time you know of putting it all

there and so that's great and I do hear

that sometimes that sometimes you know

the the VA is really good for for people

who use it in whatever way they use it

and then sometimes you know it might

fall a little bit short but that's where

Senior Care Advocates can come in and

help direct them to the care that they

might need or the resources that are

available because your whole world is is

researching resources and a lot of our

veterans are senior so uh they just call

that number there on the screen to get

in touch with you right there you go

okay that's the best number and uh and

just real quick if you've not if you're

out there and you just are having

struggles call because there's no cost

consultation but also if you're working

in the VA system find a social worker

it's the key to everything okay okay

the good information always brings good

information enlightening stuff we

appreciate it

Gregory A. Steen, CLRP brings over three decades of leadership and experience in financial advice, asset protection strategies, and post-retirement planning. He is the founder and CEO of Senior Care Advocates, a senior help and advocacy firm based in Fresno, CA. Greg is certified in Life Resource Planning and can be seen regularly on Central Valley Today.
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