VA Health Care and PACT Act have expanded to include toxins and other hazards

Attention Veterans – Are You Now Eligible for VA Health Care?

As of March 5, 2024, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has expanded eligibility for VA Health Care to millions of Veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards, while serving in the U.S. Military.

This change was created by the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in August 2022.

The PACT Act includes a number of new benefits for those exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving in the military. Learn more about PACT Act benefits here.

Who is Now Eligible for VA Health Care?

Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, or any other combat zone after 9/11 are now eligible to enroll in VA Health Care without having to first apply for VA benefits.

Also, Veterans who were never deployed, but were exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty in the U.S. are also eligible for VA Health Care.

What are “Toxins and Other Hazards”?

Veterans exposed to any of these toxins and other hazards below will be eligible to directly enroll in VA Health Care:

  • Air Pollutants: burn pits, Sand, Dust, Particulates, Oil well fires, Sulfur fires
  • Chemicals: pesticides, herbicides, depleted uranium with embedded shrapnel, contaminated water
  • Occupational Hazards: asbestos, industrial solvents, lead, paints including chemical agent resistant coating, firefighting foams
  • Radiation: nuclear weapons handling, maintenance and detonation, radioactive material, calibration and measurement sources, x-rays, radiation from military occupational exposure
  • Warfare Agents: nerve agents, chemical weapons, biological weapons

Note: this is a non-exhaustive list. For other toxins and hazards not listed, the VA is providing up-to-date information on this expansion of health care benefits here.

How Can I Apply?

Veterans who served on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, and who were exposed to such toxins and other hazards, can enroll in VA Health Care today.

The VA encourages veterans to apply by visiting the or calling 1-800-MYVA411.

For More Information

For more information about benefits that may be available to Veterans, visit our Military, Veterans, & Cancer Resources.

About Triage Cancer

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Monica Bryant