California Attorney General Rob Bonta is reminding California veterans who were exposed to dangerous toxins in the course of their service to submit a claim for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits or notify the VA of their intent to file to obtain benefits under the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act by Aug. 9.
The PACT Act expands the eligibility of veterans exposed to toxic substances like burn pits and Agent Orange — as well as certain surviving family members of veterans — VA healthcare coverage and financial compensation. While there is no deadline to apply for benefits provided under the PACT Act, veterans eligible for these benefits are encouraged to apply for benefits, or advise the VA of their intent to file, by Wednesday, Aug. 9, to preserve their ability to receive 12 months of retroactive benefits.
“We have an obligation to ensure veterans who were exposed to toxic hazards receive the care they deserve. Last year, I joined a coalition of attorneys general in urging the US Senate to pass the PACT Act and I am pleased that President Biden signed the bill,” said Bonta. “Now that the PACT Act is the law of the land, I urge eligible veterans to file a claim with the VA — or advise the VA of their intent to file — by visiting www.va.gov/pact or calling 1-800-MyVA411 by Aug. 9 in order to preserve their ability to receive a year of retroactive benefits.”
Veterans do not need to pay to file a claim. Veterans in need of assistance can receive free help with their claims from the VA, their county veterans service office or other accredited representatives.