Skip to Content

It's Here: Haley VA Informs Veterans About Important PACT Act Details

Dr. Michael Brigelia, Section Chief of Compensation and Assistant Chief of Compensation and Pension answer a question from a member of the VFW Post
Dr. Michael Brigelia, Section Chief of Compensation and Pension and Physician Associate Kenneth Brodie, Assistant Chief of Compensation and Pension answer a question from a member of the VFW Post 10209.

TAMPA, Fla. – Over 100 Veterans gathered at VFW Post 10209 for a town hall meeting hosted by James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital to learn about eligibility for health care and other benefits under the PACT Act.

Signed into law August 2022, the PACT Act expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances. 

The townhall featured an informational brief given by the Section Chief of Compensation and Pension Dr. Michael Breglia, and Assistant Chief, and  Compensation and Pension Physician Assistant Kenneth Brodie, as well as an in-depth Q&A session. The PACT Act team consisting of Toxic Exposure Screening agents and Enrollment and Eligibility officials distributed more than a hundred of resource-filled pamphlets and answered questions while and VBA Claims representatives helped Veterans begin the process of enrolling.

“This is a huge win for the Veteran community,” said Dr. Breglia. “I’ve met Veterans that never knew they were eligible for benefits after serving, and now they’re getting even more resources.”

This expansion of VA health care eliminates the phased-in approach called for by the PACT Act, meaning that millions of Veterans are becoming eligible for VA health care up to eight years earlier than written into law.  All Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan or any other combat zone after 9/11 will be eligible to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits. The PACT Act also allows for enhanced benefits and compensation from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

“Numerous Veterans in the Tampa area are eligible for new health care and benefits, and we are here to support them every step of the way,” said Donald Freyberger, JAHVH Outreach Coordinator. “That’s what being a part of this community is all about: serving Veterans, their families and survivors and encouraging them to apply.”

Veterans can attend the Veterans Resource Fair on May 14 at American Legion Post 5 to enroll in VA health care, receive toxic exposure screenings, and connect with VA programs and services. Community partners and services will be available to meet the unique needs of Tampa’s growing Veteran community.

“I never really knew if Agent Orange had an affect on my health,” said Army Veteran Dan Bowles, that served during the Vietnam War. “But what brought me here tonight was that someone had mentioned that a lot of changes were being made, and that I should look into it.”

For more information, Veteran community members can visit  or call 1-800-MyVA411.