STATEWIDE — The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the filing deadline for people seeking backdated PACT Act benefits — the deadline is now Monday, Aug. 14, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
What You Need To Know
- Veterans have until Monday, Aug. 14 to file a claim in order to get an extra year of retroactive benefits
- More than 66,000 claims have been filed and $147 million paid out to veterans in Florida
- Veterans can sign up for the PACT Act and get more information here
The PACT Act was signed into law last year and it offers an extension of benefits to service members exposed to things like burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances dating back decades.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has listed more than 20 presumptive conditions that are believed to be caused by exposure to chemicals during service.
Since January, more than 66,000 claims have been filed and $147 million paid out to veterans in Florida, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.
And local veterans have been working overtime in recent weeks to get as many signed up as possible.
"It extends beyond just Iraq and Afghanistan, a lot of people think it was just post 9/11, it's not. It also includes the Gulf War which was 1990 and even more important, it actually includes the Vietnam War," explained retired. Col. DJ Reyes.
Reyes served in various military roles and on multiple tours for 33 years. But now he is a national advocate for veterans and a big proponent of the PACT Act, which he says he and even his 91-year-old father qualified for.
The PACT Act is an extension of benefits for dozens of kinds of toxic substance exposures, everything from chemical warfare to breathing in sand and dust particles and even chemical-laced smoke.
"Now that the VA and our Congress have finally stepped up and done something about this and passed the most comprehensive military veteran health care reform act in so many decades, this was the time now for us to get the health care that we so deserved," said Reyes.
Veterans can sign up for the PACT Act and get more information here.