News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

PACT Act expands benefits for veterans

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act expands Veterans Administration (VA) health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agency Orange, radiation and other toxic substances. 

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The PACT Act will bring these changes:

• Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras.

• Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures.

• Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.

• Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care.

• Helps VA improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.

The VA has established a PACT Act webpage at https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/ to help answer questions about what the PACT Act means for veterans and their loved ones. Veterans can also call the VA at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711).

To file a claim for PACT Act-related disability compensation or apply for VA health care, contact the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 700 NE Summer St., Salem; 503-373-2392; https://www.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx.

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