Program provides benefits to veterans exposed to toxins
Congressman Brian Higgins announced the U.S. Veterans Administration extended the deadline for veterans and their families to apply for retroactive benefits under the PACT Act. The new deadline to apply for backdated benefits is now 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14.
A press release explained, “The PACT Act makes nearly 3.5 million veterans across the country eligible for the care and benefits they earned, without having to go through an arduous process of proving their illness is connected to their service. Veterans with 23 classified conditions are presumed to be eligible. The legislation ensures veterans who were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, Gulf War toxins, and radiation are eligible for benefits.”
Higgins said, “This is one of the largest expansions of veteran benefits in a generation. We encourage local eligible veterans to apply.”
The congressman, who pushed for approval of the law, recently held an event to remind Western New York veterans and their families to apply. A surviving spouse, dependent child, or the parent of a veteran who died from a service-connected condition may also be eligible for benefits.
His team noted, “Those who submit a claim or an intent to file a claim by the new Aug. 14 deadline will be eligible for benefits dating back to Aug. 10, 2022. Individuals can continue to apply after Aug. 14, but won’t be eligible for backdated benefits.”
Veterans and their families can find more information on PACT Act benefits by visiting VA.gov/pact or by calling 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411 // TTY: 711).
The previous deadline for retroactive benefits was Wednesday, Aug. 9.