• Nov 26, 2022
  • 10:55 AM

The PACT Act & Your VA benefits


By: Eduardo Martinez

The PACT Act has been signed into law by President Biden.

What does PACT Act Mean for Veterans? 

PACT Act Marks Most Significant Expansion of VA Health Care in 30 Years

Named in honor of Sergeant First Class  (SFC) Heath Robison, a decorated combat medic who died from a rare form of lung cancer, the PACT Act will help deliver more timely benefits and services to more than 5 million veterans who may have been impacted by toxic exposures while serving our country. 

In short, the new law that does several things.

  1. Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras. 
  2. Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures.
  3. Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation exposures.
  4. Will allow more veterans who fall within the guidelines to enroll in VA health care without having to demonstrate a service connected disability. 
Read the longer VA Summary Here:
 
 
As with all legislative changes relating to Veteran Benefits, patience is required as VA implements this new law.

NDVS can Help Make Sense of the New Law and Assist in Connecting to Earned Benefits

If you visit the VA’s page on the PACT Act and you have been either diagnosed with conditions listed or are experiencing symptoms for those conditions, we want to encourage you to speak to your health care provider and to one of our Service Officers about these health issues.

As you explore the option of submitting a claim for a VA Disability Rating for one these conditions, we encourage you to remember the three pieces that make up a VA Rating. These are:

  1. That the condition is something currently impacting your life or has left a long lasting impact on your body.
  2. That you are either currently receiving care for/ have received a medical diagnosis for this condition.
  3. That it is related to an experience or specific injury from your time in the military.

If all thee conditions above are true for you for any of the new conditions visit our Service Officer Page to find the office nearest you or submit an “Ask-A-VSO" form to request an appointment.

Find the Service Officer nearest you:

https://veterans.nv.gov/benefits-and-services/veterans-service-officers/ 

Post-9/11 & Gulf War* (1990/1991) Presumptive Conditions

Read more about the time periods applicable to specific countries at:

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

New Presumptive Illnesses:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

New Presumptive Cancers

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney cancer

New Vietnam Era Presumptive Conditions

New Presumptive Illnesses:

  • High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Read More at: https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/agent-orange/