Male veteran researching whether his disability qualifies as a PACT Act presumptive condition on his laptop

PACT Act Presumptive Conditions

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Veterans may now qualify for VA disability benefits for presumptive conditions added by the PACT Act.


  • The PACT Act has added numerous presumptive conditions related to in-service toxic exposure, simplifying the process for veterans to qualify for VA disability benefits.
  • Many veterans may need to file appeals to obtain compensation for PACT Act presumptive conditions, which typically require substantial time and legal support.
  • The PACT Act lists conditions like various cancers, respiratory diseases, and other illnesses linked to toxic exposure during the Gulf War, post-9/11, and Vietnam War.
  • VetLaw assists veterans in appealing denied claims related to PACT Act presumptive conditions, helping them navigate the VA disability claims system.
  • Veterans can still seek benefits for conditions not listed as presumptive by establishing a service connection.

Over the years, the VA has conceded certain conditions of military service cause specific mental or physical conditions. Recently, a significant number of presumptive conditions for in-service toxic exposure were added under the PACT Act.

This has created a smoother path to VA disability benefits for veterans suffering from these service-related conditions. However, for many veterans seeking compensation for PACT Act presumptive conditions, it will be necessary to file an appeal.

This process can require considerable time, effort, and resources, which often presents a challenge for vets and their families. A veteran disability appeals attorney can provide the legal support necessary to successfully navigate the VA disability claims system.

VetLaw is currently assisting veterans with appeals for PACT Act presumptive conditions, leveraging our experience and expertise to help secure VA disability benefits.

We encourage you to get in touch by calling (855) 573-1503 or submitting a contact form. Our team will review your case, explain your options, and guide you through the process of filing a VA appeal.

Honoring Our PACT Act Includes New Presumptive Conditions for In-Service Toxic Exposure

The PACT Act recognizes the ongoing role of chemical and toxic exposure in damaging the health of military personnel. It identifies specific locations and instances of toxic exposure, as well as the corresponding health consequences that qualify a veteran for a PACT Act presumptive condition claim.

Veterans who suffer from PACT Act presumptive conditions and meet the relevant service requirements effectively have guaranteed VA disability claims. That means they will not need to offer medical evidence to prove their condition was caused by sustaining exposure to toxins while serving active duty.

Gulf War Era and Post-9/11 Presumptive Conditions

The PACT Act presumptive conditions for veterans who served during the Gulf War and/or after 9/11 are primarily related to toxic burn pit exposure and oil rig fires. Many vets who served in areas where the U.S. military used burn pits that emitted hazardous smoke inhaled toxic fumes.

While many of the resulting health conditions are chronic respiratory issues, toxic burn pit exposure is also carcinogenic. The PACT Act updated the list of presumptive conditions to include the following:

  • Asthma (diagnosed after discharge)
  • Brain cancer
  • Bronchiolitis (constrictive or obliterative)
  • Bronchitis (chronic)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Emphysema 
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Glioblastoma
  • Granulomatous disease
  • Head cancer
  • Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
  • Kidney cancer
  • Lymphoma 
  • Melanoma
  • Neck cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pleuritis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Reproductive cancer
  • Respiratory cancer
  • Rhinitis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Sinusitis

Vietnam War Era Presumptive Conditions

The most notable example of toxic exposure for Vietnam War veterans is Agent Orange exposure. Active duty personnel were exposed as the herbicide was sprayed to cut down the vegetation that armed combatants used to obscure their locations and movements.

U.S. military personnel operating on land and offshore in Blue Water Zones were vulnerable to inhaling Agent Orange. Agent Orange contains staggering levels of a carcinogen that also disrupts the immune system.

Consequently, many veterans who experienced Agent Orange exposure suffered from cancer or other chronic life-threatening conditions. In addition to the existing Agent Orange presumptive conditions, the PACT Act also approved the following conditions as presumptive health issues for Agent Orange exposure:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Find the Legal Support You Need to Appeal Your PACT Act Disability Claim With VetLaw

As a trusted name in veterans disability law, VetLaw has repeatedly and consistently demonstrated our dedication to our clients. When laws or regulations change, our team works closely with veterans to help them understand what that means for their VA disability claims and benefits.

We are familiar with the VA appeals system and what it takes to build a successful case. Our recent work with PACT Act claims is just one example of how we diligently pursue fair compensation for the veterans we serve.

Get in touch with us by calling (855) 573-1503 or submitting a contact form. Take advantage of the opportunity to secure VA disability benefits with the help of our seasoned team of veteran disability appeals attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I experienced toxic exposure but my condition is not presumptive, can I still qualify for VA disability benefits?

Yes, veterans who have mental or physical conditions caused by in-service toxic exposure can still seek VA disability benefits, even if their disability is not an official PACT Act presumptive condition. The VA already recognized other presumptive conditions, prior to those added by the PACT Act. 

Additionally, veterans can pursue chemical and toxic exposure disability claims for conditions that are not presumptive. However, they would have the additional burden of establishing a service connection between their toxic exposure and their disability.

Can I appeal a denied claim if my disability is now a PACT Act presumptive condition?

Absolutely. There are many veterans who struggled to prove a service connection between their disability and in-service toxic exposure, resulting in the VA denying them benefits. Some of these conditions are now presumptive conditions under the PACT Act. 

Now that this legislation has acknowledged the medical nexus between toxic exposure and certain conditions, veterans who were originally denied VA disability benefits for their illness or injury due to a lack of service connection will likely have an easier time securing compensation.

Note that if you have a pending claim for a condition that is now a presumptive condition under the PACT Act, the VA will consider your disability a presumptive condition.

Do Camp Lejeune veterans benefit from the PACT Act?

Although the PACT Act did not name new presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune veterans, the law did create another way for them to pursue compensation. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 effectively overrode a North Carolina statute of limitations. 

This allowed veterans and their families to file Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits in civil court. Vets can still file Camp Lejeune toxic water claims with the VA for disability benefits.