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PACT ACT: What you need to know

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or PACT Act, expands VA health care and benefits for certain veterans who served during the Gulf War era, Post 9/11 and during Vietnam.


There are distinct differences in PACT Act benefits based on a veteran’s individual period of service and location of service. For example, the new presumptive disabilities related to exposure to the toxins of burn pits apply only to Gulf War era and Post 9/11 veterans based on their location of service. The new burn pit presumptive conditions do not apply to Vietnam veterans.

For Vietnam veterans, the PACT ACT has expanded locations recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange. The PACT ACT also added, two (2) new presumptive conditions based on being exposed to Agent Orange.

Any original claim submitted after August 14, 2023, VA will establish and effective date of the date the claim was received.  For claims or submitted prior to August 14, 2023, to include an intent to file a claim, as long as the formal claim is received by VA within 1 year from the date of the intent to file, the effective date will revert to the date of the change in law August of 2022.

However please keep in mind, veterans can continue to submit PACT Act related claims.

In addition, if a veteran had a pending PACT Act related claim prior to, or after, the deadline to submit claims for a backdated effective date, the claim does not need to be resubmitted.

Veterans who served during the Gulf War era and Post 9/11

A presumption of exposure is assumed if you served on or after September 11, 2001, in any of these locations:

  • Afghanistan
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Syria
  • Uzbekisstan
  • Yemen
  • Airspace above any of these locations

On or after August 2, 1990, in any of these locations:

  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Somalia
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Airspace above any of these locations

VA has added more than 20 burn pit and other toxic exposure presumptive conditions for Gulf War era and post 9/11 Veterans.

These cancers are now presumptive conditions:

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type

These illnesses are now presumptive conditions:

  • Asthma that was diagnosed after service
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
  • Emphysema
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis

Veterans who served during Vietnam

 5 new locations have been added to the list of presumptive locations:

  • Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976
  • Laos from December 1, 1965, through September 30, 1969
  • Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from April 16, 1969, through April 30, 1969
  • Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters off of Guam or American Samoa from January 9, 1962, through July 30, 1980
  • Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977

VA has added 2 agent orange exposure presumptive conditions for Vietnam Veterans.

These illnesses are now presumptive conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Radiation presumptive locations

There are 3 new response efforts added to the list of presumptive locations:

  • Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll, from January 1, 1977, through December 31, 1980
  • Cleanup of the Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons off the coast of Palomares, Spain, from January 17, 1966, through March 31, 1967
  • Response to the fire onboard an Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland from January 21, 1968, to September 25, 1968

To speak with a Veterans Benefits Specialist about eligibility and filing a claim, visit our Service Program or call 800-446-4926, ext. 6450 to find your closest service office.




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