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February 24, 2023
Gregory A. Steen

The PACT Act: What All Veterans and Their Surviving Spouses Need To Know

According to the VA, “The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefits expansion in VA history.” This new law was signed on August 10, 2022. That being said, whether you believe you qualify or not, you want to understand what this new law can do for any veteran with toxic exposure during their military duty. Unfortunately, many veterans have already been denied for exposure due to Agent Orange, burn pits, airborne, and other toxic episodes. Finally, there is new hope. This new law changes the way the VA “presumes” eligibility and opens the door once again to the majority of veterans who were previously denied. More than twenty new presumptive conditions for Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxic exposures have been added, removing the need to prove the condition is service-connected. This is long overdue!

Main Points:

  1. Agent Orange - It is now easier to win these claims. Two new conditions have been added to the presumption list. Also, additional locations have been added as well.
  2. Tracking improved - under a new database the VA promises to improve its own research. They also have acknowledged the need to improve the methods for administering benefits.
  3. Radiation exposure - A new presumption is now available allowing a much easier process for winning these claims.
  4. Veterans who served in the Middle East are now able to connect their burn pit claims under a new presumption.
  5. Camp Lejeune - water contamination screening is available to every veteran enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Follow-up screenings will be conducted every five years as well.
  6. Gulf War & Post-9/11 Veterans - If you served in any of these locations, the VA acknowledges you had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. This is called a presumption of exposure.

As you can see, this is great news for millions of veterans and their survivors.

Help us get the word out so these honorable servants can be properly awarded for their commitment and service.

Have questions? Call us at (559) 227-7322 for a free consultation. We’ll help you navigate the VA maze.

Helpful Links:

VA Benefits Hotline: (800) 827-1000

Overall explanation: https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/

Help for survivors: https://www.va.gov/disability/dependency-indemnity-compensation/

Survivors pension: https://www.va.gov/pension/survivors-pension/

Save your date: https://www.va.gov/resources/your-intent-to-file-a-va-claim/

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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