I write this letter with the hope of reaching as many Veterans and their family members as possible. New, ground-breaking legislation now allows us to better care for those Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.
The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act is a historic new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans – and their survivors. It recognizes toxic exposure as a "cost of war" by addressing the full range of issues impacting toxic-exposed Veterans.
This new law also expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam era, Gulf War era and post-9/11 era. The expanded health care eligibility allows new Veterans to become eligible for VA care or increases health care benefits for impacted Veterans already receiving care.
Veterans will now be eligible for benefits for more than 20 burn pit or toxic-exposure-related conditions. The law solidifies VA's new process for establishing presumptive service-connected conditions, which puts one goal above all else: getting Veterans and their survivors' timely access to the benefits they have earned and deserve.
I know personally in working with Veterans every day how diseases related to these exposures have impacted their lives and their families. We are honored and stand ready to meet the needs of these Veterans better now and in the future.
We encourage all Veterans who believe they may be eligible for VA health care and benefits to visit www.va.gov/PACT or call 1-800-My-VA-411 (800-698-2411) to learn more.
We also work closely with the Montgomery Regional Office and you can contact them at 1-800-827-1000. You can also schedule an in-person or virtual appointment through the VERA application at https://vets.force.com/VAVERA/s/.
Thank you for your service, and please take the first step in getting the VA health care you have earned and deserve.
Amir Farooqi, FACHE
Director/CEO Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System