This weekend, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will kick off a PACT Act Week of Action to inform veterans, their families, and survivors about the PACT Act and encourage them to apply for the health care and benefits they have earned.
Between Dec. 10 and 17, VA will host more than 90 Week of Action events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These events will feature veterans, veteran families and survivors, VA leaders, members of Congress, local elected officials, veterans service organizations, state directors of Veterans Affairs, and more – all of whom are working together to spread awareness about the new health care and benefits available to veterans and survivors. Many of these events will have VA staff present to help veterans apply for benefits, get screened for toxic exposures, and enroll in VA health care.
"There are millions of veterans and survivors across America who are eligible for new health care and benefits, and we will not rest until every one of them gets what they’ve earned,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough,, who will participate in some of the events. “That’s what this PACT Act Week of Action is all about: educating veterans, their families, and survivors – and encouraging them to apply today.”
A full list of events can be found here. Additional participants in the events include Donald Remy, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Tanya Bradsher, VA’s Chief of Staff; Dr. Shereef Elnahal, VA’s Under Secretary for Health; Josh Jacobs, VA’s Senior Advisor for Policy Performing the Delegable Duties of the Under Secretary for Benefits; and others.
The PACT Act is the largest expansion of veteran health care and benefits in decades. Since President Biden signed it into law on August 10, more than 176,000 veterans have applied for PACT Act-related benefits and more than 503,000 Veterans have received the new toxic exposure screenings, with nearly 39% reporting a concern of exposure.
The PACT Act Week of Action is just one component of VA’s nationwide PACT Act Veteran outreach campaign, which is the largest coordinated outreach campaign in VA history. The campaign has one goal: ensuring that every eligible veteran and survivor gets the PACT Act related health care and benefits they have earned. Highlights of the campaign to date include:
• VA.gov/PACT: Within one hour of the Senate passage of the PACT Act, VA launched VA.gov/PACT – a one-stop-shop for veterans and survivors to learn about and apply for PACT Act-related care and benefits. Since then, the website has garnered over 4.5 million page views from more than 3.1 million unique visitors.
• Earned Media: VA is executing an aggressive national and local earned media campaign, seeking to inform veterans and survivors about the PACT Act and encourage them to apply. Between Aug. 10 and Nov. 30, these efforts have helped generate 8.5k news articles and 3.9k broadcast items about the PACT Act – with a total potential reach of 28.4 billion.
· Paid Media: VA is executing a nationwide, targeted advertising campaign across TV, streaming, radio, podcasts, YouTube, Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Military Times, Military.com, USA Today, RallyPoint, and more. VA is launching a new PACT Act PSA and running a Times Square video ad on toxic exposure care and benefits. To date, VA has spent more than $3.1 million on PACT Act advertising, garnering approximately 100 million impressions. This campaign is focused on reaching all eligible veterans and survivors, including those who have not previously come to VA for benefits or care.
• Print, digital, and video resources: VA has developed a library of PACT Act flyers, videos, and fact sheets to help veterans understand what this new law means for them. The videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times across platforms, and the resources have been shared directly with Veterans, VA facilities, VSOs, and other partners nationwide.
• Direct mail: VA has sent 136 million e-mails with PACT Act information, videos, or FAQs.
VA encourages all eligible Veterans and survivors to apply for their earned PACT Act-related health care and benefits now. Veterans and survivors can apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT, by calling 1-800-MYVA411, or by attending one of next week’s events.