The Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) has announced that more than 500,000 veterans and survivors have filed claims under the PACT Act. This law, which was signed into law in August 2022, was intended to help veterans suffering from illnesses related to toxic exposure. It has also helped more than three million veterans get screenings for toxic exposure, helping them to learn if they may need to file for benefits.
What is the PACT Act?
The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, also known as the PACT Act for short, was originally passed in August 2022 to address issues related to veterans suffering from the effects of toxic exposure. The law is meant to increase access of veterans to the healthcare system to be treated for the symptoms of toxic exposure, as well as making it easier to prove their disabilities are related to their military service.
Why Was the PACT Act Passed?
The PACT Act was originally passed to deal with the growing issue of veterans suffering from long-term disabilities due to toxic exposure during their service. Many veterans wind up getting exposed to toxic chemicals while on military bases, either due to toxic chemicals and materials used in military operations, or as a result of smoke from burn pits used to dispose of trash and equipment. This can lead to a variety of long-term diseases, including certain rare cancers that are unusually common among veterans.
Why Have There Been So Many Claims Under the PACT Act?
The reason that more than 500,000 people have filed claims under the PACT Act is because of how common toxic exposure is in the military. It is also a sign of how hard it was beforehand for veterans and their families to obtain benefits without the aid of the new law. With its assistance, they now have a much easier time seeking benefits, including getting better care for their medical issues.
What Should You Do if You Have Suffered From Toxic Exposure?
If you or someone you love was a veteran of the U.S. military who suffered from toxic exposure, you may be able to obtain VA disability benefits thanks to the PACT Act. However, if you are unsure of how to take advantage of this opportunity, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling disability claims. They can help you apply for benefits, and fight on your behalf if there are any issues with your application.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.