Veterans who left the military between September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013 have until the end of this month to enroll in VA health care through the PACT Act. This is a benefits program available to veterans regardless of their disability benefits status. So, you can enroll directly without having to wait for the lengthy approval process from the VA (and still be eligible for additional VA benefits).
We’d like to briefly explain this program, and why you shouldn’t wait too long to sign up for it because we’re near the deadline for enrollment (September 30th).
What is the PACT Act?
The PACT Act was legislation aimed at helping veterans of the Iraq War and Afghanistan War, particularly those who with “presumptive conditions” after exposure to hazardous duties. Those would include troops who were exposed to dangerous burn pits, agent orange, and other toxic chemical dangers, known to contribute to health problems later down the road.
According to the VA’s published materials, affected veterans stand about a 97% chance of seeing an increase in benefits after filing for PACT Act health care. VA-sponsored healthcare also tends to be much more affordable than non-VA alternatives. Congress and the Biden administration created The PACT Act in 2022, making it the largest expansion of VA healthcare benefits in decades.
Of course, time is of the essence if you believe you qualify. Veterans from the Iraq/Afghanistan War era have until 11:59 pm on September 30th to file for PACT Act coverage. It should be easy for you to do this at the website, VA.Gov/PACT.
VA Pushing the PACT Act Pretty Hard
It’s been about 13 months since they created this program, and already over 300,000 veterans have applied for it. Among those enrolled, more than four million veterans have received screening for toxic exposures. The VA continues to make a huge push (including $13 million in paid media advertising) to get as many veterans as possible enrolled by September 30th. This is a move to address the many endemic problems with veteran healthcare and VA coverage.
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about issues like these, then please continue to follow SRQ Vets. We’re a Sarasota-Bradenton-based veterans’ support group, dedicated to several relief measures for America’s neglected former service members. You can also ask us questions or get involved with our efforts by calling us anytime at 941-777-8387.