Bergmann & Moore will begin a series on the recently passed PACT Act this week. Signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022, the PACT Act is a comprehensive set of newly passed regulations that will entitle more Veterans to presumptive disability benefits and healthcare.

What does PACT stand for?

PACT stands for: Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics

(The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act.)

Why was this new law passed?

The PACT Act legislature was designed to increase the presumptive locations and medical conditions for various toxic exposures. This allows for more Veterans to receive disability compensation as well as VA healthcare.

Who will benefit from changes made under the PACT Act?

  • If you served in one of the following locations, you might be eligible for benefits under the PACT Act:
    • Agent Orange Exposure:

      • Vietnam (including Blue Water ships within 12 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam)
      • Thailand: U.S. or Royal Thai military base
      • Laos
      • Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province
      • Guam or American Samoa, or in the territorial waters off Guam or American Samoa
      • Johnston Atoll, or on a ship called at Johnston Atoll

    • Gulf War Era and Post-9/11:

      • On or after August 2, 1990, in the following locations:
        • Bahrain
        • Iraq
        • Kuwait
        • Oman
        • Qatar
        • Saudi Arabia
        • Somalia
        • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
        • The airspace above any of these locations

      • On or after September 11, 2001:
        • Afghanistan
        • Djibouti
        • Egypt
        • Jordan
        • Lebanon
        • Syria
        • Uzbekistan
        • Yemen
        • The airspace above any of these locations

  • In addition, eligible surviving dependents of Veterans who have passed away from one of the new presumptive conditions may be eligible for benefits under the PACT Act.

When do these changes go into effect?

  • Per VA Secretary Denis McDonough, the presumptive conditions contained in the PACT Act are eligible for benefits effective August 10, 2022, the day President Biden signed the PACT Act into law.
  • You can read the press release from VA’s Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs by clicking here.

Start your claim today by completing an Intent to File a claim for benefits, then submit VA Form 21-526EZ within one year to retain your effective date.

Stay tuned this week as Bergmann & Moore continues our series on The PACT Act!

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