The Department of Veterans Affairs announced this week that it will prioritize the processing of Veterans’ benefits claims for cancers associated with the PACT Act. VA will expedite these claims to ensure Veterans with cancer are getting timely access to the care and benefits they need and deserve.
The PACT Act added presumptions of service connection for more than 20 new conditions, including various cancers. These presumptions help Veterans get their earned benefits by reducing the evidence necessary for VA to find that a condition was caused by burn pits or other toxic exposures. They also simplify the claims process by eliminating the need to establish a link between the Veteran’s service and the claimed condition.
Since the PACT Act was signed into law August 10, Veterans have filed nearly 125,000 PACT Act-related claims. Of those claims, nearly 14,000 are for cancers covered by the PACT Act.
“We are working hard to get benefits to all Veterans who qualify under the PACT ACT as soon as possible, and Veterans living with cancer are at particular risk,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Expediting claims for these Vets will ensure that they get the care and benefits they need and so rightly deserve.”
This decision is a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader efforts to care for those with cancer and end cancer as we know it. In addition to prioritizing claims for Veterans with cancer, VA will continue to prioritize the processing of claims for Veterans with terminal illnesses and those experiencing homelessness.
VA will begin processing all PACT Act-related claims Jan 1, 2023. In anticipation of the surge in new claims, VA is hiring at 56 regional offices and 39 other special processing and call centers within the United States and Puerto Rico. Learn about the positions and how to apply.
For more information about PACT Act and how to file a claim, visit va.gov/PACT. If Veterans, their families, caregivers or survivors have questions about PACT Act and wish to speak with someone to help, they may call 1-800-MyVA411 at any time.