The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was signed into law on August 10, 2022. The legislation marks the most significant expansion of benefits and services to America’s war veterans in more than 30 years.

The new law significantly increases the number of veterans eligible for benefits. Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances may now be eligible to receive VA health care and benefits.

How can the GDVS help if I think I qualify for benefits under the PACT Act?

The GDVS has more than 100 VA-accredited veteran service officers who work to help the veteran community or their survivors at every step of the claims process.

Even if a veteran or their family has been denied a claim in the past, we encourage them to file a claim again.

Please contact any of our field service offices across the state to schedule an appointment and start working on a claim as soon as possible.

Which Gulf War era and post-9/11 veterans are eligible for benefits?

More than 20 burn pit and other toxic exposure presumptive conditions have been added based on the PACT Act. 

These cancers are now presumptive:

  • Brain cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
  • Glioblastoma
  • Head cancer of any type
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphatic cancer of any type
  • Lymphoma of any type
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer of any type
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Reproductive cancer of any type
  • Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type

These illnesses are now presumptive:

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

What are the new Agent Orange presumptive conditions?

There are 2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions:

  • High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Veterans may also be eligible for disability compensation based on other Agent Orange presumptive conditions. These conditions include certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses.

Where are the new Agent Orange presumptive locations? 

VA has added 5 new locations to the list of presumptive locations for Agent Orange exposure: 

  • Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976 
  • Laos from December 1, 1965, through September 30, 1969
  • Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from April 16, 1969, through April 30, 1969
  • Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters off of Guam or American Samoa from January 9, 1962, through July 31, 1980
  • Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977

Where are the new radiation presumptive locations? 

VA has added 3 new locations to the list of presumptive locations: 

  • Cleanup of Enewetak Atoll, from January 1, 1977, through December 31, 1980
  • Cleanup of the Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons off the coast of Palomares, Spain, from January 17, 1966, through March 31, 1967
  • Response to the fire onboard an Air Force B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland from January 21, 1968, to September 25, 1968

Can I get a toxic exposure screening?

All VA health facilities will offer toxic exposure screenings. 

Every veteran enrolled in VA health care will receive an initial screening and a follow-up screening at least once every 5 years. 

If you are not enrolled but meet eligibility requirements, you will have an opportunity to enroll and receive a screening. 

The screenings will ask if you think you were exposed to: 

  • Open burn pits and other airborne hazards
  • Gulf War-related exposures
  • Agent Orange
  • Radiation
  • Camp Lejeune contaminated water exposure
  • Other exposures