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Major VA Deadline For PACT Act Benefits Has Passed

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.

The article below is kept here for archival purposes only.

The Department of Veterans Affairs wants veterans and their families to know time is running out to apply for an important benefit designed to help those with medical conditions related to toxic exposures.

August 2023 Deadline For PACT Act Benefits Has Passed

Veterans and survivors of military members who may have qualified for PACT Act benefits are permitted to apply for those benefits at any time with no deadline. But those who want to claim backdated benefits offered up to August 10, 2022, had a major deadline in early August 2023 to meet, which is now passed.

That deadline may sound too close for comfort for those who have not started work on a VA claim for PACT Act benefits, but you don’t have to have the full claim ready before the deadline.

It was possible to file an intent to claim these benefits before the deadline (see below) and finish the claim later. This option is also provided for typical VA claims, not just PACT Act claims.

Claiming PACT Act Benefits

The PACT Act provides expanded VA compensation and health care options for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, burn pits, drinking water at Camp Lejeune, or other circumstances or “other toxic substances,” according to the VA official site.

Part of the PACT Act adds more medical conditions to a list the VA presumes are service-connected. If a service member applies for PACT Act benefits, their claim is reviewed, and any toxic exposures may be addressed in the claims review process.

The VA maintains an extensive list of conditions that may qualify under the Act, which has expanded to include:

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

The following cancers are also part of the PACT Act presumptive conditions list:

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer
  • Respiratory cancer

Related: TRICARE Guide

VA Deadline to Claim Retroactive PACT Act Benefits

As mentioned at the start of this article, veterans and their families can apply for PACT Act benefits anytime. But those who want to apply for them with a retroactive payment to August 10, 2022, were required to do so before August 9, 2023.

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About the author

Editor-in-Chief

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.