On Oga. 10, 2022, President Joe Biden signed Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Pledge to Combat Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act). The PACT Act is one of the largest and most beneficial health care programs in the history of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The PACT Act will help VA provide generations of Veterans and survivors with the jobs they deserve and deserve.
What is the PACT Act?
The PACT Act expands eligibility for VA medical care for Veterans with acute poisoning during the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras. The PACT process:
- Adds over 20 new conditions for fire pits and other poison displays.
- Increases exposure to Agent Orange and radiation.
What is toxic exposure?
The word “poison” refers to a subset of natural warfare agents. Whether exposure is “poisonous” is determined by four factors: substance, amount of exposure, route of exposure (breathing, swallowing, etc.), and duration of exposure. There are several types of exposure or trauma that Veterans have experienced during war:
- Medicine: Herbicides (Agent Orange) used during the Vietnam War, burn pits and sulfur fires in Iraq, water at Camp Lejeune at one point, pesticides used in Operation Desert Storm, and the loss of uranium and solvents industries.
- Air Pollution: Pit burners, oil well fires, and sulfur fires in Iraq. Additional air pollutants may include exposure to the Atsugi (Japan) waste incinerator, or sand, dust, and particles, particles or liquid droplets.
- Occupational Hazards: Asbestos, industrial solvents, lead, radiation, vibration, noise, oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and special paints used in military vehicles.
- Radiation: Exposure to nuclear weapons and tests, x-rays, and/or depleted uranium
- War Helpers: Chemical weapons, Project 112/Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), herbicide testing and storage, and chemical testing
What does it mean to have an arrogant attitude of being poisoned?
The VA disability calculation requires that the Veteran’s disability be connected to the military. In some cases, you may need to verify your connection to your service. But in some cases, the VA thinks that your job caused your problem. These are called “arrogant conditions.”
The PACT Act also includes new requirements for self-construction of burn pits and other toxic exposures. For a complete list of new estimates and opportunities, visit The PACT Act and your VA benefits at www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/.
For Vietnam-era Veterans
Vietnam-era veterans who served in the following locations and periods are eligible to apply for enlistment:
- Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
- Thailand in the US or Royal Thai base between Jan. 9, 1962, and June 30, 1976
- Laos in mid-Dec. 1, 1965, and Sept. 30, 1969
- Some provinces in Cambodia between April 16, 1969, and April 30, 1969
- Guam or American Samoa (or their territories) between Jan. 9, 1962, and July 31, 1980
- Johnston Atoll (or the ship that came there) between Jan. 1, 1972, and Sept. 30, 1977
For Gulf War-era soldiers
Gulf War-era veterans who served on active duty in a combat theater after Operation Desert Storm may be eligible to enroll in VA health care. This includes veterans who, in connection with service during this period, have received awards or recognition:
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Service Specific Expeditionary Medal
- Combat Era Specific Expeditionary Medal
- Campaign Specific Expeditionary Medal
- Any other performance award established by Federal statute or Executive Order.
For Post-9/11 Veterans
Post-9/11 veterans released before Oct. 1, 2013, can sign up for VA health care during the one-year special enrollment period between Oct. 1, 2022, and Oct. 1, 2023. To be eligible, one of the following must be true:
- He served as active duty in the theater of war during the war after Operation Desert Storm, or
- He served as a combatant during the post-Nov. 11, 1998.
If you want to know if you qualify for VA health care, contact the Truman VA enrollment specialists today by calling (573) 814-6535.