Veterans can now submit claims for all presumptive illnesses included in the PACT Act legislation. This massive Act was signed into law last month and was on track to launch on October 1, 2022. But when the President signed the Act, he made it clear that he wanted the legislation to go into effect immediately, and VA followed through. Veterans can submit claims, but this does not mean they will be seen any sooner. VA planned the original date of October 1 to allow for training and to prepare staff for the high demand of claims. However, Veterans should still submit their claims now.
Since the new law is so large, the legislature stated that many presumptive conditions would not be looked at until 2026 at the latest. It makes sense on paper to stagger the presumptive conditions to allow VA staff to not get bogged down. But, Veterans cannot wait; they have already been waiting long enough.
The Backlog of Claims
VA does not plan to start processing new claims until January 1, 2023. The law will allow VA time to hire more staff and get these employees trained to get through the backlog of claims faster. This week VA’s backlog was sitting at 145,000 claims, a considerable improvement from the 264,000 claims in 2021.
Do not wait, submit your claim
Here is how to Apply for VA Health Care
Have you been meaning to file your claim but do not know where to start? Find out more.
Did you submit a claim, and are you waiting to hear back? Check the status of your claim.
Are you worried about your living situation while you wait for your claim to be processed? This page may help.
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“VA secretary discusses health care overhaul helping veterans exposed to toxic burn pits” PBS News Hour: September 2, 2022, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/va-secretary-discusses-health-care-overhaul-helping-veterans-exposed-to-toxic-burn-pits
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