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Tips for Enrolling in VA Health Care

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Larry D. Moore

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history.

The PACT Act is here to stay, and Veterans and survivors can file for benefits anytime. The sooner you file, the sooner you can start getting your earned benefits.

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 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, 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 us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures

What does it mean to have a presumptive condition for toxic exposure?

To get a VA disability rating, your disability must connect to your military service. For many health conditions, you need to prove that your service caused your condition.

But for some conditions, we automatically assume (or “presume”) that your service caused your condition. We call these “presumptive conditions.”

We consider a condition presumptive when it’s established by law or regulation.

If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.

If you’re a surviving family member of a Veteran, you may be eligible for these benefits:

  • 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 the VA owed unpaid benefits to 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.

In Appreciation,

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Executive Director

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