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PACT Act Compensation | Helpful Information You Should Know

Legally reviewed by Brendan Garcia , Owner and Lead Attorney

Our veterans disability benefits lawyers explore the provisions and limitations of the PACT Act.


  • Veterans may be entitled to PACT Act compensation based on a bill signed into law in 2022; it provides comprehensive health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service.
  • The PACT Act aims to provide free screenings for toxic exposures, offer benefits, establish prioritized claims processes, and improve VA efficiency.
  • Veterans exposed to burn pits, Camp Lejeune water, Gulf War toxins, and Agent Orange qualify for PACT Act compensation for service-related conditions.
  • Surviving spouses are eligible for PACT Act compensation, and veterans with previously denied claims should seek assistance to reopen them.

How VetLaw Can Simplify Your VA Claims Process

As a veteran, if you developed an illness as a result of your military service, you are legally entitled to free healthcare, disability benefits, and/or financial assistance from the VA. While the PACT Act extended the care and benefits available to veterans, navigating the VA claims and appeals processes can be time-consuming and daunting.

At VetLaw, our team of attorneys relieves the burden from veterans and their families, working diligently to secure the PACT Act compensation they deserve. Above all, our practice was founded on the belief that our country is obligated to prepare troops for the stress of military service and care for them when they return home.

To learn more about how we can help you secure compensation, consider scheduling your free case review with our team today. You can also call (855) 670-0614 to set up a time to meet.

What Is the PACT Act?

Signed into law in 2022, the PACT Act establishes comprehensive health care and benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their service, including Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxins.

This law was the largest expansion of VA benefits in over three decades, offering key protections to veterans across the country. Specifically, the PACT Act aims to:

  • Provide free screenings for toxic exposures to over 4 million veterans.
  • Offer benefits to veterans and their surviving loved ones.
  • Establish a prioritized claims process for veterans with cancer.
  • Improve the VA’s capacity to quickly and efficiently serve veterans.
  • Eliminate delays and expedite the decision-making timeline.

In essence, this legislation guarantees health care and benefits for veterans who suffer from illness due to their exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxins while serving their country. If you are a qualifying veteran or survivor, you may be eligible for PACT Act compensation.

How PACT Act Compensation Percentages Are Calculated?

Your PACT Act compensation will depend on your condition, your VA disability rating, and whether you have a spouse and/or dependents. Based on current compensation rates, a single veteran with no children and a 60% disability rating may be entitled to over $1,000 in compensation per month. This amount increases to over $3,000 with a 100% VA disability rating.

PACT Act compensation will generally increase if you suffer from severe and incapacitating symptoms. Likewise, your compensation will increase if you have dependents such as a spouse, parents, or children. For the complete list of VA disability compensation rates, consult the VA’s website or speak with your VA disability attorney.

Who Qualifies for PACT Act Compensation?

The PACT Act introduced several changes to the VA claims process, presumptive lists, and eligible service locations and dates. Specifically, four areas are covered under the PACT Act, namely:

  • Burn pit exposures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Somalia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Djibouti, or the airspace above these locations.
  • Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure
  • Gulf War and Southwest Asia toxin exposure
  • Vietnam Era exposure to Agent Orange

Each area of coverage has its own date and location requirements, as well as a unique list of presumptive conditions. To obtain VA disability benefits, veterans from each area of coverage must meet two requirements:

  • Served during a qualifying date and location of service
  • Has been diagnosed with a condition on the presumptive list

The presumptive list for each coverage area varies depending on the type of toxins and substances that a veteran would have been reasonably exposed to. Some of the most common presumptive conditions in each coverage area include:

  • Burn pit exposures: Asthma (diagnosed post-service), lung cancer, sarcoidosis, melanoma, chronic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Camp Lejeune: systemic sclerosis, scleroderma, Parkinson’s disease, certain cancers, neurobehavioral disorders, and miscarriage and infertility
  • Gulf War and SW Asia: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, certain cancers, and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Vietnam Era: soft tissue sarcomas, certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, multiple myeloma, chloracne, and diabetes mellitus type 2

It is important to note that these lists are not comprehensive. For more information about PACT Act eligibility requirements, consider speaking with an experienced VA disability attorney at VetLaw.

Our team will help guide you through the presumptive conditions list and navigate the extensive process of filing a VA disability claim based on your unique symptomatology and military service experience.

Does the PACT Act Offer Back Pay for Qualified Veterans?

Veterans who filed a disability benefits claim with the VA between August 2022, when President Biden signed the PACT Act, and August 14th, 2023, may be eligible for back pay benefits if the VA approves their claim or appeal. If you filed your claim or submitted an intent to file, by that August 14th, 2023 deadline, you could receive a year’s worth of VA disability back pay benefits.

Essentially, this provision in the PACT Act made August 10th, 2022 the effective date for veterans who filed a PACT Act claim at any time within this year-long window. Now that the deadline has passed, you can still file a veterans disability benefits claim under the PACT Act. 

However, your back pay would start accruing from the day the VA received your claim, not August 2022; this is provided that you are ultimately granted VA disability benefits. It is to your advantage to file your veteran’s disability benefits claim or VA appeal sooner rather than later so you can establish your effective date.

Are Surviving Spouses Eligible?

Yes, surviving spouses are eligible for PACT Act compensation. If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran who suffered from a condition related to their exposure to toxic substances, you may qualify for the following benefits:

  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, which provides tax-free monthly benefits payments to qualifying surviving family members of veterans.
  • Accrued benefits payment for back pay owed to a deceased veteran
  • Survivors’ pension, which provides monthly payments to surviving spouses who meet certain net worth and income requirements

What If You Had a Previously Denied Claim?

It is not uncommon for veterans to have filed a VA disability claim and been denied benefits prior to the passage of the PACT Act. If you filed a claim for a PACT Act presumptive condition that was previously denied, it is important to seek assistance to reopen your claim.

Our team of veteran disability claims denial attorneys works closely with veterans impacted by PACT Act compensation denials to navigate the claims process and successfully secure disability benefits. We will help you assemble all necessary evidence to support your case and ensure that you and your family can access the benefits you deserve.

Can I Receive a VA Health Screening for Presumptive Conditions Covered by the PACT Act?

Yes. Veterans are encouraged to submit to the VA screening process for toxic exposure. The PACT Act specifically designated funding to support this agenda. Veterans are entitled to an initial screening, as well as a follow-up screening every five years after that. 

By December 2023, the VA had already exceeded its goal for toxic exposure screenings, reaching 5 million veterans. The screening process is a brief questionnaire designed to assess if you are at risk of service-related disabilities due to toxic exposure. From there, you should be directed to additional resources and information about VA disability benefits.

Keep in mind, that vets can enroll in VA healthcare for service-related conditions related to toxic exposure regardless of whether they have applied for VA disability benefits. This policy went into effect on March 5th, 2024. If you want a VA screening for toxic chemical exposure, don’t let the status of your VA disability benefits claim hold you back.

How Can VetLaw Help You Obtain PACT Act Compensation?

At VetLaw, we help veterans around the country navigate the red tape of the VA claims and appeals processes. Our team of accredited VA disability attorneys will fight for your rights at every step and ensure that you are not denied the vital benefits you need. Our team will carefully assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and then form a plan based on that information.

Depending on what is best for your veteran’s disability claim, we may recommend that you include additional evidence of your service-related disability in a Supplemental Claim, request a Higher-Level Review to obtain a more qualified judgment or advocate for disability benefits with the Board of Veterans Affairs.

We are well-equipped to handle chemical and toxic exposure claims based on our years of experience and acquired expertise in this area of veteran’s law. Don’t underestimate the impact that a capable, persistent legal team can have on your case.

Discuss Your PACT Act Compensation With a VetLaw Veterans Disability Benefits Lawyer

Don’t underestimate the impact that a capable, persistent legal team can have on your case. VetLaw has earned the trust of veterans from every branch of the military because we treat them with respect and deliver results.

Our team will advocate for you throughout the VA claims process. We are a nationally recognized leader in the practice of Veterans Law. Let us leverage our years of experience to help you obtain PACT Act compensation.

Consider scheduling your no-obligation free case review to speak with our team through our online form or by calling (855) 670-0614. Our team will help begin strategizing your case today. We look forward to meeting you and explaining your options for VA disability benefits under the PACT Act.