The VA Pact Act provides benefits to military veterans who have been exposed to toxic substances, such as open burn pits, Agent Orange, radiation, Camp Lejeune contamination, or other hazardous exposures.
The VA now suspects exposure to these and other toxic substances may cause several health conditions. Here is a summary of the PACT Act and how it may affect you.
Honoring PACT Act
The PACT Act became law on August 10, 2022. It is officially named the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.
The new law authorizes the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to provide millions of toxic-exposed veterans – and their survivors– with new and expanded benefits and healthcare.
The PACT Act addresses disability compensation, expands presumption of service connection, adds new illnesses and cancers associated with toxic exposure, and significantly expands healthcare eligibility and services, along with other important exposure-related resources for veterans and their families.
Our VA-accredited attorneys are always available to assist you, answer questions, and explain your legal options.
- We provide swift and dedicated legal help filing initial VA claims for disability benefits for burn pit-related and other toxic exposure-related conditions.
- Did the VA previously deny you service connection for a toxic exposure-related condition now presumptive under the PACT Act? To obtain your VA disability benefits in this case, you are generally required to submit a supplemental claim.
- We represent veterans in these claims to obtain their VA disability benefits or to appeal VA toxic claim denials.
- Our attorneys represent Camp Lejeune lawsuits in all matters. We have an in-depth understanding of the Camp Lejeune toxic water tragedy, as well as the multiple cancers and illnesses associated with these cases.
- Please find more information in our PACT Act News and FAQ.
2022 Pact Act:
New and Expanded Benefits for Toxic-Exposed Veterans and Survivors.
Gulf War Era Veterans
New Presumptive Conditions: Burn Pits | Other Exposures | Gulf War & Post 9/11
The Pact Act adds over 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures. This change increases benefits for Gulf War Era and post 9/11 veterans.
New Presumptive Illnesses:
- Asthma that was diagnosed after service
- Chronic bronchitis
- Chronic rhinitis
- Chronic sinusitis
- Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
- Granulomatous disease
- Interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
New presumptive cancers:
- Brain cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
- Head cancer of any type
- Kidney cancer
- Lymphatic cancer of any type
- Lymphoma of any type
- Neck cancer of any type
- Pancreatic cancer
- Reproductive cancer of any type
- Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
What Veterans Are Eligible for Gulf War & 9/11 Burn Pit Presumptive Conditions?
If you served in any of the following locations and during the time periods established under the PACT ACT, VA will find that you had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. These veterans are regarded as having “presumption of exposure.”
|On or after 9/11/2001, in any of these locations||On or after 2/2/1990, in any of these locations|
|Yemen||The United Arab Emirates (UAE)|
|The airspace above any of these locations||The airspace above any of these locations|
Vietnam Era Veterans
Two New Presumptive Conditions for Agent Orange
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGU.S.)
Additional Presumptive-Exposure Locations for Agent Orange and Radiation
Presumptive service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicides are added for veterans who served in the following locations:
- Republic of Vietnam during 1/9/62 – 5/7/75
- Thailand at any U.S. or Royal Thai base from 1/9/62 – 6/30/76 regardless of where on the base the Vet was located or their job duties.
- Laos from 12/1/65 – 9/30/69
- Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from 4/16/69 – 4/30/69
- Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters thereof from 1/9/62 – 7/31/80
- Or served on the Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from 1/1/72 – 9/30/77
Nuclear and Radiation-Exposed Veterans
Three Additional Presumptive Service Locations
- Enewetak Atoll cleanup from Jan. 1, 1977, thru Dec. 31, 1980.
- Palomares, Spain – Response effort/cleanup of the Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons off the coast of from Jan. 17, 1966, thru March 31, 1967.
- Thule, Greenland – Response effort to the fire onboard an Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland from Jan. 21, 1968, thru Sept. 25, 1968.
Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Exposure
PACT Act Establishes the “Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
For three decades, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was the site of widespread drinking water contamination.
Individuals who were exposed to the toxic water for a minimum of 30 days, beginning on August 1, 1953, and ending on December 31, 1987, may bring an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina to obtain appropriate relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.
Eligibility to file a lawsuit against the federal government includes veterans who served on the base, family members who lived on the base, civilians who worked on the base, and children who were exposed in the womb, among others.
Claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) are not VA claims. The CLJA provides the opportunity for military and civilian victims to sue the U.S. government (not the Department of Veterans Affairs) for reparations from the toxic water contamination.
Camp Lejeune contaminated water claims can date back as far as seven decades. For in-depth information visit our Camp Lejeune Lawsuits page.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act Presumptive Conditions
- Aplastic Anemia and More Myelodysplastic Syndromes
- Appendix Cancer
- Bile Duct Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Brain Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Gallbladder Cancer
- Intestinal Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Sinus Cancer
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma
- Spinal Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
- Other Cancer
Other Diseases and Heath Effects
- Birth Defects
- Female Infertility
- Hepatic Steatosis (Fatty Liver Disease)
- Neurobehavioral Effects
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Renal Failure (Permanent)
Health Care Eligibility Is Expanded to 3 Groups of Veterans
VA will expand, in phases, hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care for any illness to three new categories of Veterans who may not have been eligible before:
- Category 1 Veterans who participated in a toxic exposure risk activity (as defined by law) while serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training;
- Category 2 Veterans assigned to a duty station in (including airspace above) certain locations during specific periods of time, on or after:
- August 2, 1990, in the following countries: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, or the United Arab Emirates
- September 11, 2001, in the following countries: Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, or any other country determined relevant by VA; and
- Category 3 Veterans who deployed in support of
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Resolute Support Mission
- A monthly VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC) payment. You may qualify if you’re the surviving spouse, dependent child, or parent of a veteran who died from a service-connected disability.
- A one-time accrued benefits payment. You may qualify if you’re the surviving spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent of a veteran who we owed unpaid benefits at the time of their death.
- A Survivors Pension. You may qualify if you’re the surviving spouse or child of a veteran with wartime service.
- If you are a veteran and have suffered from toxic exposure and meet the standards under the PACT Act, do not hesitate to file a claim.
- If you were formerly ineligible or otherwise denied benefits by the VA for your toxic exposure disability claim, these and other benefits may now be available to you.
Survivors: The PACT Act provides expanded benefits and healthcare services to the spouse, dependent child, or parent of a Veteran who died from a service-connected disability.
Contact VA Disability Claims Lawyer Marc Whitehead
If your VA disability claim was denied or delayed, or if you have questions about your case, please request a free case evaluation and download our FREE veteran’s e-book.
Contact me about your denied Veterans disability benefits at (800) 562-9830. Thank you for your confidence in our services. I will help you get the benefits you deserve regardless of where you live.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; The PACT Act and your VA benefits; https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/
H.R.3967 — 117th Congress (2021-2022): Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022; https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3967/text
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; PACT Act VA Health Care Eligibility;
The VA presumes many other health conditions are caused by toxic exposure due to military service. For a rundown of all presumptive conditions, visit VA’s page Exposure to hazardous chemical and materials.