By Heather Dueitt, VP Marketing, Veteran Ratings
The PACT Act is short for Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act and is the most significant increase in Veteran benefits in history that went into effect in January 2023. We’ve compiled a list of easy-to-understand highlights of what the PACT Act means to Veterans and their disability benefits.
- New Presumptive Conditions Added
The VA added a new list of presumptive conditions surrounding Agent Orange, burn pits, radiation, asbestos, and other toxic exposures. A presumptive condition means that the VA automatically presumes that certain disabilities and conditions were caused by your time in service. Under presumptive conditions, you don’t have to have been diagnosed while you were in service or need to prove that your service caused the condition to qualify for VA disability benefits.
- You Can Resubmit Your Claim
If you were previously denied a VA disability claim for a condition related to toxic exposures or one that is now included in the new list of presumptive conditions, you can resubmit your claim.
- Expansion of Veterans Included
The PACT Act includes Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras.
- Expansion of Locations Included
In addition to the added presumptive conditions, additional locations were added for burn pits, Agent Orange, radiation, asbestos, and other toxic exposure.
New Conditions That Were Added
Here’s a list of illnesses, diseases, and conditions added to Gulf War and post-9/11 Veterans’ presumptuous conditions.
These cancers are now presumptive:
- 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
These illnesses are now presumptive:
- 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
In addition to the above conditions, two Vietnam-era Agent Orange presumptive conditions were also added:
- High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)
These are on top of other conditions that include certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses. In addition to Agent Orange exposure additions, the VA highlights different kinds of exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials like asbestos, mustard gas, radiation, and more.
To see a full list of conditions and locations, please visit the VA’s guide here.
If you have any of the listed conditions, Veteran Ratings can help guide you to see if you qualify for any of the benefits under the PACT Act that went into effect in January 2023. Additionally, all these benefits will be part of the new increase in pay scale that was also brought into effect in January 2023. You can set up a free consultation to see if we can help you by calling 619-320-4314 or visit VeteranRatings.com for more information.
© Veteran Ratings 2023