Tens of thousands more veterans are eligible for Veterans Affairs health care as of October 1, 2022, according to VA officials. The changes stem from a law that was passed that gives veterans who were sickened by environmental exposures better access to health care and disability benefits.
Post-9/11 veterans who didn’t previously enroll in VA health care and meet specific criteria will be the largest group to benefit from the law.
If you think you may be eligible, sign up soon as there is only a one year period to take advantage of the new benefit.
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Here’s the criteria veterans would need to meet in order to be eligible, via Military.com:
To be eligible, veterans would need to have served on active duty in a combat theater after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, served against a hostile force after Nov. 11, 1998, or were discharged or released from active duty from Sept. 11, 2001, to Oct. 1, 2013.
Some additional groups of Vietnam veterans and Gulf War vets are also eligible to enroll under certain circumstances.
Vietnam-era veterans will be eligible for care if they served any time in:
– Vietnam from Jan. 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975
– Thailand at a U.S. or Royal Thai base from Jan. 9, 1962, to June 30, 1976
– Laos from Dec. 1, 1965, to Sept. 30, 1969
– Guam or American Samoa — or their territorial waters — from Jan. 9, 1962, to July 31, 1980
– Johnston Atoll, or a ship that called there, from Jan. 1, 1972, to Sept. 30, 1977
And any veterans who served after the Persian Gulf war and earned an expeditionary medal, a campaign-specific medal or another combat theater award, or a veteran who engaged in combat against a hostile force on or after Nov. 11, 1998, also will be eligible beginning Oct. 1.
The expansion will bring “generations of new Veterans into VA health care,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough stated.
The PACT Act is a historic new law that will help the VA deliver for millions of veterans and their survivors. It expands benefits and care to vets suffering from more than 20 toxic exposure-related conditions.
Before the PACT Act was passed, veterans had to go through a long and tedious process to prove their disabilities were directly related to a specific incident during their time in service. But now they are getting rid of this process, which could sometimes take decades.
A lot of veterans who have not previously gotten their health benefits should finally be able to start getting the healthcare they need.
Martin Lopez says
I was stationed in Vietnam from. 3/68-3/3/69. In the Central Highlands where the most AgentOrange spray due to the Hue Chi min trail. We created a depot for the Air Force for Kontum and Dak to Agent Orange. We had it in our compound everywhere. We used Agent Orange for any infestations we experienced.
In 2012, I experienced shortness of breath and chest pain. I called and had at least three appointments and it felt like I was inconvenienced my PA. After the last consult I had a heart attack and a quadruple bypass surgery in Dec. of 2012. The VA did nothing to pick up the slack. It was very depressing and created a very helpless and a great deal of distrust.
I served in Vietnam from November 1968 to November 1969, in 2 Core, Central Highlands, the highest sprayed area, because of the triple canopy. I’ve tried for years to get compensation for Agent Orange, the answer is always NO. I’m not diabetic, nothing else matters, I have eczema that constantly breaks open and bleeds all year long. Hypertension and neuropathy doesn’t count either. Can some rational person tell me WHY we can’t get dental care? This Government doesn’t hesitate to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on illegal immigrants, but not those who have given their lives for this Country!
Clarence E Winters says
I was in the Air Force from 1960 to 1964 as a firefighter. In 1973 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer and had it removed, which was most likely caused by all the fumes from jet fuel fires and hazardous chemicals used in putting out the fires. In those days they never had OSHA around to make regulations for masks worn along with oxygen tanks and asbestos safety gear. I didn’t know about government disability then when I applied for it I was told that due to the fact, I had it removed I was no longer qualified to apply. Here is my question, do they expect you to let it go and if that is the case, why can’t I apply for compensation from 1960 thru 1973?
Harry Blanding says
What about the team members that served searching for POW/MIA Members?.Living in unfavorable conditions, digging in soils, coming in contact with all types of chemicals and burn pits???
Townsend Takushi says
I recently read in a article about “burn pits” being recognized from a date in 1970? The law does not cover those who served in S Vietnam. I was stationed in Chu Lai, the Americal Div and recall being on the detail to “ burn pits” in early 1970. All veterans who served during the
Vietnam war should be included in the law for exposure to “burn pits”.
Kathy Waymire says
I served from June 1979 to 1983, Joined from Montana and served at Malmstrom AFB and my last year was CONUS remote. We were told that we would have VA health benefits but then the rules seemed to have changed. Am I entitled to VA benefits?
jimmie house says
the military is a joke and do not give a dam about their veteran, the veteran administration wish older veteran fall off the earth
RALPH D JR SMITH says
The above comments have merit. A veteran should be eligible “period”. I have recently learned that vets that served on the same ship that I served on have Terminal issues. Though I am not sytomatic today, I may be tomorrow and that VA is talking “Windows”. BS…..
Sherman Durr says
Yes you deserve your benefits from VA
Charles E Sanders says
Yes, I were in military from 1972 thur 1979 over in Okinawa, Japan. We use same stuff kill grass around motor pool that spread in Vietnam, we cleaned Equipment came back from Vietnam, But military act like they don’t remember. All red mud ,with stream jink ,that ran by diesel, now they just come around, we code- H them , mean salvage them. All we talk about give us what deserve, I love this country , then, And love more today thur all we are American God bless this country
Richard Rhodes says
What benefits do I have from 1975 1979
Kenneth E Love says
I served from 1985 to 2005, i was denied military insurance each time i applied or spoke with someone on the phone. I am not here to trash my brothers in arm, i just want fairness, i served, so i earned my benefits, MEDICAL, DENTAL, VISION, AND ANY HELP NEEDED. # A PROUD VETERAN
Eva Trombley says
Yes you certainly do deserve benefits. Hope your receiving them now!
jimmie house says
The united states take 25 years to solves veteran claim, but only 2 days to send billion of dollars to Ukraines, i wisk the u.s government care about their veteran like they care about Ukraines
Sherman Durr says
I’m with you brother 100% on that what about us
Kenneth, you served 20 years . You were career military. Did you retire or have some other type of discharge? If you retired you should have filled out your retirement packet to include your Healthcare benefits.
I served in 1988 gage town Canada where I finally found out how I got sicken in 2019 by a national guard advisor I was there for 3 weeks and got so sick from agent poisoning as I know they used these chemicals before Vietnam and till the year 1985 if you serve in the yankee division of around New England then you probably have a good chance of training in Canada their was also beliefs of these chemicals being buried I would not doubt it I really believe this needs to be added to the pact act need my VA health care they denied me because I volunteered to join the us army as a honorable national guard veteran of 8 years and being sickened with there poison I do think it’s time to compensate I’ve been battling them VA for 5 years now I know many soldiers have worse off problems and these severe symptoms need to be addressed as it has and compensation for our us military service people who faught hard for our country and freedom EVM every veteran matters please help us soldiers of service
Norman Rosseland says
I’ve got a 100%Service Connection due to depression anxiety panic and plain can’t think straight due to 60-100 injections of unknown substances while in the Army from 1962-65
1st Sgt made an announcement to our Headquarters Company Platoons
“Anyone that wants to smoke MJ and take lsd see me after this formation
You’ll get out of here for a year and go to Maryland”
I never heard of LSD but the Beatniks smoked MJ/ I was a wannabe nik-
Faught VA since 1990-2016
My 201 (it was top secret) file showed the Chemical unit I didn’t know I was in -never went to Maryland- -I’m 78 now- -had painful neuropathy and breakdowns ever since -they denied my 1st claim 1990-2004 – -I was in 7 nut houses- -Didn’t know because of my story- -(which included Nazi Drs) my diagnosis was I was Delusional
Sent it to Vets Court of Appeals 14 years were denied- – Happy to be alive- Does
Pact Act Cover this
Norman Rosseland says
I’d like to clarity. My remarks:
I was nuts and scared to get out of the army
I didn’t crash after the VA Denial
I had been wasted for decades
I filed my claim from the nut house
I callled them for simply to get help
Never thoughht of
I filed for help
I didn’t know about the Army exposing me to bad stuff
Thanks had to explain
linwood cato says
I served 1 year in Vietnam, and retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of honorable service to MY COUNTRY. I like the VA, but since I am not 100% service connected, I cannot get Dental Care. But BILLIONS ARE SENT TO OTHER COUNTRIES TO HELP WITH THEIR WARS AND MEDICAL CARE.
DANNY A. LEE says
M0RE G00D D0CT0RS AND SPECIALTY D0CT0RS. IT TAKES T00 L0NG T0GET ANYTHING D0NE AND ESPECIALLY F0R PE0PLE IN PAIN. WHAT IF THE S0LDIERS WERE THIS SL0W IN FIGHTNING IN THE WARS AND 0THER SITUATI0NS. PAY THE S0LDIERS F0R THE INJURIES THEY RECEIVED WHILE IN SERVICE 0R SICKNESS THAT SH0WED UP AFTER THEIR TERMS IN SERVICE THAT WS CAUSED BY INJURIES RECEIVED WHILE IN ACTIVE DUTY
Ricky Banks says
I served from 1972 to 1973 with an honorable discharge. Am I eligible for heals care from VA?