Veterans need to apply by August 9th for PACT Act benefits

INDIANA— A major healthcare and benefits expansion could impact thousands of veterans across the Hoosier state, but according to Lawrence County Veterans Affairs Officer Brad Bough, veterans must apply soon.

Brad Bough

In August of 2022, the PACT Act was passed. The act expands VA health care and benefits for Vietnam, Gulf War, and post 9/11 era veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. The PACT Act adds at least 20 more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures.

The PACT Act expands eligibility for some 200,000 Indiana veterans, according to the Veterans Administration. That includes many veterans who may have been denied benefits in the past.

Bough urges vets who were previously denied in the past to now re-apply by August 9th or even if they are not sure they are eligible to apply.

“It’s very important for veterans to know that even if you’ve been denied in the past, you need to refile your claim,” he added. “Back pay could be $10,000 depending on your level of service connection or more.”

If applicants do not submit a completed application by August 9, Bough said you can submit an “intent to file” by that date. As long as an application or “intent to file” is submitted by August 9, eligible veterans will receive that backpay.

Veterans can apply for the PACT Act here or call Bough at 812-275-6411.

For more information on the PACT Act, click here.