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.

The PACT Act has made the following locations presumptive for toxic substance exposure for Veterans who performed active military, naval, air, or space service on or after September 11, 2001:

  • Afghanistan 
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • Uzbekistan

In addition, Veterans who had served in the following overseas contingency operations are now presumed to be exposed to toxic substances:

  • Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Operation New Dawn
  • Operation Inherent Resolve
  • Resolute Support Mission

Presumptive Medical Conditions

The PACT Act focuses mainly on the diseases and illnesses associated with exposure to burn pits. Additionally the PACT Act lists the following diseases and illnesses as the presumption of service connection.

Presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with exposure to burn pits and other toxins for covered Veterans:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service of the covered Veteran.

The following types of cancer:

  • Head cancer of any type
  • Neck cancer of any type
  • Respiratory cancer of any type
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Lymphomatic cancer of any type
  • Kidney cancer
  • Brain cancer/Glioblastoma
  • Melanoma
  • Pancreatic cancer

The Following Respiratory Conditions:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Chromic sinusitis
  • Chronic rhinitis

 Healthcare Changes

The PACT Act has expanded the period of eligibility for healthcare for certain Veterans of combat service. You may be eligible for ten years of free healthcare from the VA:

  • If you were discharged from active military, naval, air, or space service after September 11, 2001, and 
  • Before, October 1, 2013, but have not enrolled to receive hospital care, medical services, or nursing home care

However, VA encourages Veterans to apply for healthcare benefits regardless of discharge date. You can learn more about applying for healthcare coverage.

If you served after September 11, 2001, and have one of the presumptive medical conditions in the list above, you may be eligible for VA disability compensation.

  • You can find out more about filing a claim for VA disability benefits. Make sure to fill out the form completely and respond to any requests from VA for additional information about your medical conditions or treatment.

If you were previously denied service connection for one of the locations/conditions listed above, you can now refile by submitting VA Form 21-526EZ to VA. 


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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