Deadline arrives for PACT Act back payments
Veterans eligible for disability benefits under last year's PACT Act have until Wednesday to apply in order to qualify for one year of back payments should they qualify, according to Veterans Affairs.
The PACT Act was signed into law in August 2022. It expanded the number of health conditions the VA presumes afflicted veterans received due to their service in certain areas. This means veterans who qualify will not have to prove to the VA their conditions are connected to their service, something that has been a barrier.
Veterans affected by burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam are among those who qualify under the new law.
Frank Pearson, the CEO of the VA San Diego Health System, told KPBS in July that the VA expects to add 700,000 - 800,000 veterans to its benefits system nationwide because of the PACT Act.
"Everything is is being considered." Pearson said. "There's not a list that says ‘no, this isn't going to be considered.'"
Veterans eligible for benefits under the PACT Act can apply anytime after Aug. 9. However, those who submit an intent to file by Wednesday and are subsequently approved will have those monthly benefit payments back dated to August 2022, which could amount to thousands of dollars.
Veterans can find more information online at va.gov.