Important PACT Act Deadline Passes
Update August 16, 2023: The VA deadline to file (or submit an intent to file) for retroactive PACT Act benefits has passed. The deadline was 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, August 14, 2023. Those who filed before that deadline may qualify to have their benefits backdated to August 10, 2022, the day the PACT Act became law. You can still file claims for PACT Act benefits after the deadline, but no retroactive payment is offered.
UPDATE August 9 2023: The 9th of August was the final day to file PACT Act claims or intent to claim that includes a retroactive payment for PACT Act befits dating back to August 2022. After the August 9 2023 deadline, veterans and families may still file new PACT Act claims or apply for reconsideration of older PACT Act claims previously denied by the VA. The PACT Act claims process is ongoing. You can file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs for these benefits or appeal a VA decision about them regardless of the August 9, 2023 deadline mentioned above.
The PACT Act allows those who have never filed a VA claim before to apply for expanded VA benefits for toxic exposures.
It also offers veterans who made prior claims but had them rejected by the VA to reapply or have their case reconsidered. Those who have a case reconsidered may qualify for back pay, dating to August 10, 2022, depending on circumstances.
PACT Act Deadline for Retroactive Benefit Payments
The deadline to apply for retroactive PACT Act benefits was previously Aug. 9, 2023. That was NOT a deadline for applying for PACT Act benefits in general. Veterans and survivors of those who qualified for PACT Act benefits can apply for those benefits at any time. This is a deadline for a specific type of PACT Act claim–one with retroactive pay.
Those who wanted to claim backdated benefits offered up to August 10, 2022, were required to file an intent to claim the benefit before the August 9 deadline in 2023. The completed claim was permitted to be submitted later. But your INTENT TO FILE must be on record on or before August 9 2023.
PACT Act Benefits
Veterans of a variety of campaigns may qualify for PACT Act benefits due to potential toxic exposures in the Vietnam conflict, both Gulf Wars, and other locations. Veterans who served since 9/11 are offered expanded and extended eligibility for VA healthcare coverage and compensation for exposure to burn pits and other toxic situations or events.
PACT Act rules include offering veterans free VA healthcare for any condition related to military service for 10 years from the veteran’s final date of separation.
Who Qualified For Retroactive PACT Act Benefits
- PACT Act compensation for service-connected medical issues related to toxic exposure was expanded to include veterans who served in Iraq from 1990 to 1991.
- The expanded benefits are also offered to those who served in qualifying regions from 2003 until the VA announces an end date when it’s assumed burn pits were no longer in service.
- Qualifying duty locations include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Qatar from August 1990 until a “to-be-determined-later” date; and in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen starting in September 2001.
- If you served in an area listed in the DoD Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, you may be eligible for expanded PACT Act screening options.
Learn more: How the PACT ACT Changed Your VA Benefits.
What to Know About Claiming PACT Act Benefits After August 9, 2023
You are still permitted to apply for PACT Act benefits after August 14 2023. Your claim will be reviewed and a decision will be made by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Claims or intent to claim filed after August 14, 2023 get the same consideration as those filed before the deadline in terms of overall benefit. What is not possible after August 14, 2023 as mentioned above? Retroactive payments dating back to August 2022.
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.