VA delivered more than $2.2 billion in earned benefits to Veterans and survivors since President Biden signed PACT into law
Today, VA announced that Veterans and their survivors have filed more than one million claims for toxic exposure-related benefits under the PACT Act since President Biden signed it into law Aug. 10, 2022. VA has processed more than 551,000 of these claims, granting 77.9% of them and awarding more than $2.2 billion in earned benefits to Veterans and survivors. Supporting Veterans and their families is a core pillar in President Biden’s Unity Agenda for the nation, and today’s announcement helps deliver on his promise to comprehensively address military related toxic exposure.
Thanks to the largest outreach campaign in VA history, Veterans and survivors are applying for their earned benefits at record rates. In this fiscal year alone, Veterans and survivors have submitted 2.29 million total claims (PACT and non-PACT) — 40.4% more year-to-date than last fiscal year, which was the previous all-time record. Veterans have also submitted more than 2.1 million “intents to file” during this fiscal year — 53.1% more than all of last fiscal year and also an all-time record.
The PACT Act is the biggest expansion of Veteran health care and benefits in decades. VA encourages all eligible Veterans and survivors to file a claim — or submit their intent to file a claim — for PACT Act-related benefits now.
“Thanks to President Biden, the heroes who fought for our country are now getting health care and compensation for the conditions that followed them home from war,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “We’re proud that more than one million Veterans and survivors have applied for their hard-earned benefits to date, but this is just the beginning — and we won’t rest until every Veteran and every survivor gets the VA health care and benefits they deserve.”
Partly due to the PACT Act, VA is delivering more care and more benefits to more Veterans than ever before. Key results to date include:
- Delivering benefits to Veterans and their survivors: VA has processed 1.85 million total Veteran claims (PACT and non-PACT) thus far in this fiscal year —15.7% more to date than last fiscal year and already surpassing last year’s all-time record total of 1.7 million claims processed.
- Increasing Veteran access to health care: Since Aug. 10, 378,995 Veterans have enrolled in VA health care. This includes more than 158,691 enrollees from the PACT Act population (Vietnam, Gulf War, and Post-9/11 era Veterans).
- Screening Veterans for toxic exposures: More than 4.4 million enrolled Veterans have received 5-minute screenings for toxic exposures from VA under the PACT Act.
Right now, there is also a special enrollment period for Veterans to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits. Specifically, until 11:59 p.m., local time, Sept. 30, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care, and left active duty between Sept. 11, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2013, are eligible to enroll in VA health care without first applying for disability compensation benefits. VA encourages all of these Veterans to visit VA.gov/PACT or call 1-800-MYVA411 to learn more and sign up for VA health care before the deadline.
VA is delivering health care and benefits at record rates partly due to a dramatic increase in hiring at VA. For the first time in VA’s history, the Veterans Health Administration has over 400,000 employees and the Veterans Benefits Administration has over 31,000 employees — and both organizations are growing at the fastest rates in 20 years. Moving forward, VA will continue to modernize and expand capacity to deliver health care and benefits to Veterans as quickly and effectively as possible.
For more information on VA’s implementation of the PACT Act, visit the PACT Act Dashboard. VA is publishing this dashboard every other Friday to document the implementation of this legislation and showcase its impact on Veterans and survivors. The next dashboard, which will reflect the data in this release, will publish on Sept. 15.
Veterans and survivors may apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT or calling 1-800-MYVA411.