The PACT Act and Toxic Exposure
The bravery, sacrifice, and strength of our veterans should not go unrecognized. We have a duty to care for them when they return home from service. To this end, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law in August 2022. This legislation - designed to support veterans exposed to toxic chemicals during their service - is the largest healthcare and benefit expansion in VA history. The law was named in honor of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, who fought in Iraq and Kosovo only to die in 2020 from the effects of toxic exposure in the field. Countless veterans suffer from chronic conditions resulting from radiation, burn pits, Vietnam-era Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures.
The PACT Act significantly extends health care eligibility for veterans exposed to these chemicals, including those who served during the Vietnam, post-9/11, and Gulf War eras. It also adds a long list of assumed, or “presumptive”' health conditions resulting from toxic exposure, funds research and education for avoiding and treating this exposure, and requires the VA to provide free toxic exposure screenings to every veteran enrolled for benefits.
Veterans are under no obligation to prove their presumptive condition resulted from their service. The connection - and resulting eligibility for benefits - is automatically assumed based on service location. The list below details many of the presumptive health conditions for veterans who served during the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras:
- Brain cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
- Head cancer of any type
- Kidney cancer
- Lymphatic cancer of any type
- Lymphoma of any type
- Neck cancer of any type
- Pancreatic cancer
- Reproductive cancer of any type
- Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
- Asthma that was diagnosed after service
- Chronic bronchitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic rhinitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
- Granulomatous disease
- Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
- Type 2 diabetes
What You Need To Know
If your disability claim has been denied in the past, but you have a condition now considered presumptive by the VA, call us for assistance at 877-715-9300, or contact us through our website. You have one year from the notice of decision to file an appeal, so if you've been denied veterans disability, it's best to start the appeal process as soon as possible. We are honored to help you.
If you have not yet filed a claim yet for a presumptive condition, you can file a new claim for disability benefits online at the link below. You can also file by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.
If you are currently receiving VA benefits, you are eligible for a toxic exposure screening at any VA medical clinic or facility. Please take advantage of this screening, as it can support your long-term healthcare plan and catch toxin-related health concerns early. The results of the screening go straight to your VA health care team, who are fully equipped with the resources you need for early diagnosis, prevention, and necessary treatment.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.