The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (the PACT Act) was signed by President Biden on August 10, 2022. One of the largest health care benefit expansions in decades for the VA, the PACT Act will expand coverage for those exposed to hazardous substances during their military service, including Agent Orange, burn pits, and contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
One notable expansion for Veteran’s who served during the Vietnam War period is the addition of new locations to the Agent Orange presumptive locations. This means that if the Veteran served in certain locations during the presumptive time period, the VA presumes the Veteran was exposed to Agent Orange. New locations include any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia at Mimot or Krek in the Kampong Cham Province, Guam, American Samoa, Johnston Atoll, or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll.
In another notable expansion, the VA is adding two new medical conditions to the list of Agent Orange presumptive conditions. The new conditions are monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), and high blood pressure (also called hypertension). While monoclonal gammopathy will go into effect immediately, high blood pressure will not go into effect until 2026. Although high blood pressure might not be presumptive until 2026, Veterans can begin filing for compensation now.
More information on the PACT act, as well as the presumptive time periods for the above listed locations, can be found at https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/.
If you have medical conditions which you believe are the result of your military service, or have questions about how the PACT Act will affect you, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.