VA Increasing Hiring For PACT Act Claims
In August, President Joe Biden signed The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act into law. This act gives the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) the resources it needs to treat approximately 3.5 million veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances while serving their country.
The PACT Act is one of the largest benefit expansions in the history of the VA. It does the following:
- Requires the VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in health care
- Expands eligibility for VA health care for veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
- Adds more than 20 presumptive conditions for burn pits and Agent Orange
- Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for radiation and Agent Orange
So far, more than 145,000 veterans have already filed claims under the PACT Act. To handle all these claims, the VA’s benefits division is hiring a massive number of workers to help. The VA plans to hire several thousand people to maximize its capacity while it prepares to implement new laws that will make millions of veterans eligible for VA benefits.
The VA is encouraging all veterans who have been exposed to toxins to file a claim. That will be their opportunity to get the health care, benefits, and other services that they need and deserve.
Hiring is currently underway to add more claims processors. The first cohort of hires is already onboard at the Veterans Benefits Administration, where they are going through training.
The VBA set a goal of hiring nearly 2,100 claims processors. They have plans to hire to the maximum capacity, which could include several thousand more full-time hires in the near future.
Getting approved for a claim is easy now, as the veteran simply needs to have a presumptive condition. They do not have to get a disability rating. The VA will automatically assume that their military service caused their medical condition. Presumptive conditions are established by law or regulation, and the veteran only needs to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
These cancers are now presumptive:
- Brain cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Head cancer Kidney cancer
- Lymphatic cancer
- Neck cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Reproductive cancer
- Respiratory cancer
These illnesses are now presumptive:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic rhinitis or sinusitis
- Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
- Granulomatous disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
Learn More About Veterans Benefits
Veterans are exposed to various substances and events during their time as a servicemember. The government is working hard to ensure veterans are fairly compensated for their time in service.
Don’t lose out on compensation. Contact a White Plains veterans disability benefits lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call 914-294-2145 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.