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VA San Diego seeks to enroll veterans under expanded benefits law

VA San Diego continues its ongoing effort to help veterans apply for expanded disability benefits with VetFest this Saturday at its Kearny Mesa clinic.

When the PACT Act was signed into law in 2022, the White House called it "the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans in more than 30 years."

The bill made it easier for veterans exposed to toxins at home and abroad to receive VA disability compensation.


Scott Gomer, a spokesperson for the San Diego VA, said the department estimates up to 80,000 veterans in San Diego County currently have no affiliation with the VA. He'd like that to change.

"Some of them may just not be aware of how to sign up for healthcare," Gomer said. "Some may have made a conscious decision to get health care elsewhere — maybe they've got a good plan from their work or something like that — but we think it's beneficial for veterans to at least come check it out (and) see what's available."

He said veterans who've previously had claims denied should re-apply.

"Things keep changing all the time," Gomer said.

Vet Fest is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the VA's Kearny Mesa clinic.