On Dec. 29, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that starting Jan. 1, 2023, it will begin processing PACT Act benefit claims for all veterans and their survivors.
Since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on Aug. 10, more than 213,000 have applied for PACT Act-related benefits. And more than 959,000 veterans have received VA’s new toxic exposure screenings, with nearly 39% reporting a concern of exposure.
“We at VA are ready to process these claims and deliver PACT Act-related care and benefits to toxic exposed veterans and their survivors,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough in the release. “To all veterans and survivors: don’t wait, apply now – we will get you the care and benefits you deserve.”
Jan. 1 is the earliest date that VA will have both the authorities and capabilities necessary to fully process all PACT Act claims.
While VA did not have the capabilities to begin fully processing PACT Act claims for all veterans until Jan. 1, 2023, VA has been processing PACT Act benefits claims for eligible terminally ill veterans since Dec. 12. VA will continue to prioritize processing claims for terminally ill veterans, veterans with toxic exposure-related cancers, veterans experiencing homelessness, veterans older than 85 years old, veterans experiencing financial hardship, and Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients. In most cases, if a veteran files a claim within the first year after the president signed the PACT Act, the effective date for benefits will be Aug. 10, 2022.
For more information about the PACT Act and how to file a claim, visit va.gov/PACT. If veterans, their families, caregivers or survivors have questions about PACT Act and wish to speak with someone to help, they may call 1-800-MyVA411 at any time.