Frequently Asked Questions about the PACT Act

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Frequently Asked Questions about the PACT Act

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the PACT Act. The Act provides eligibility and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits and toxins during military service.
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On August 10, 2022, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was signed into law. The PACT Act, as it's usually called, increases the number of veterans who are eligible for VA benefits and health care due to toxins exposure during their military service.
 

Because the PACT Act is so new, there have been a lot of questions about what it does, who is covered, and how it might impact folks. In response, we have answered the most frequently asked questions below. 

 

Table of Contents:

What is the PACT Act?
Who is Covered by the PACT Act?
What are the new and expanded presumptive conditions in the PACT Act?
Can Veterans' survivors get compensated under the PACT Act?
What should a veteran do if they were previously denied for a condition that is now covered by the PACT Act?

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

What is the PACT Act?

The PACT Act is one of the most significant expansions to VA coverage in decades. It requires the VA to:
 

  • Provide toxic substance screenings to all veterans
     
  • Provide VA health care and compensation benefits to veterans who have become ill from exposure to burn pits and other toxins during specific periods of military service
     
  • Add over 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
     
  • Add over 30 VA health care facilities
     
  • Allow individuals who lived or worked at Camp LeJeune for more than 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to file a lawsuit in court regarding health issues they have dealt with due to the toxic water exposure at the base
     
  • And provide research funds for treatment of toxic substance exposure.
       

Overall, the law will provide benefits and better health access to millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances in service of their country. 


 

Who is covered by the PACT Act?

The PACT Act generally covers:

  • Vietnam era, Gulf War era, and Post 9-11 era veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances during specific time periods and in specific locations

 

 

 

  • Veterans, family members, non-military (civilian) workers, contractors, and any others who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
     
    • These individuals will be allowed to file claims to recover damages for issues they've had from exposure to contaminated water at the base.

 

Can Veterans' survivors get compensated under the PACT Act?

Yes. According to the VA, if you’re a surviving family member of a Veteran who would have received benefits under the PACT Act, you may be eligible for:

  • A monthly VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) payment.
     
    • You may qualify if you’re the surviving spouse, dependent child, or parent of a Veteran who died from a service-connected disability. 

      Learn how to apply for VA DIC

       
  • A one-time accrued benefits payment.
     
  • A Survivors Pension.
     


 

What are the new and expanded presumptive conditions in the PACT Act?

A "presumptive condition" is a health condition that the VA automatically links to your service. This means you don't have to prove your time in service caused or made your health condition worse, so long as you meet all the other requirements for the presumption (such as being in a specific location while you served or serving during a specific time period).

 

 

 

What should a veteran do if they were previously denied for a condition that is now covered by the PACT Act?  

The VA should be reaching out to veterans who filed for conditions under the presumptive conditions list but were previously denied, assuming you meet the other presumptive requirements (service during a specific time and location). However, we encourage veterans to file a supplemental claim and not wait for the VA. Instead, you can file your own claim by going to the VA's supplemental claim website page, or finding a veterans law attorney who will help.