The Department of Veterans Affairs (also known as the VA) has begun processing PACT Act claims, beginning with terminally ill veterans. This Act, which was passed on August 10, helps to expand accessibility of VA benefits for veterans affected by burn pits, Agent Orange, and other forms of toxic exposure. As a result, many veterans, including those with terminal illnesses, will be able to receive VA disability benefits they may have been previously denied.
What is the PACT Act?
The “Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022,” also known simply as the PACT Act for short, is a law that was passed earlier this year to help veterans suffering from the effects of toxic exposure they experienced during their military service. Typically, this involves people who were exposed to burn pits, large open pits where the military burns its garbage, which are known to give off toxic fumes. It also includes those exposed to toxic chemicals like Agent Orange, which is a chemical defoliant used during the Vietnam War that can cause cancer and other serious health problems.
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On August 2, Congress passed the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which seeks to address the issue of veterans exposed to burn pits while serving in the military. This bill helps those who, until now, may have struggled to obtain disability benefits or healthcare due to the poorly understood nature of toxic exposure to burn pits. It is expected that around five million veterans will benefit from this new law.
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The Department of Veterans Affairs (otherwise known as the VA) has announced that it will be proposing a list of rare cancers to be added to the list of presumed service-connected disabilities. The proposal comes after a public outcry to deal with certain rare medical conditions that disproportionately affect U.S. military veterans, which are attributed to exposure to carcinogenic toxins while in the service. Adding these conditions to the presumed condition list could help many veterans obtain disability benefits they need to help care for themselves while being treated for these rare and potentially deadly cancers.
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Among disabled veterans, few groups have more difficulty obtaining compensation for their disabilities than those who suffer because of toxic exposure. These veterans often find it difficult to prove that their injuries are tied to their military service, making it difficult for them to obtain compensation for their injuries. Now, however, a measure has been introduced in the Senate that, if passed, would make it easier for veterans suffering from toxic exposure to seek treatment for their conditions. Continue reading “Senate Introduces Measure to Help Veterans Affected by Toxic Exposure”