The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has extended a deadline for veterans and survivors applying for benefits under Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (PACT Act).
The VA has extended the deadline through Monday. Veterans and survivors who apply, or who submit their intent to file, for PACT Act benefits by 11:59 p.m. EST — which would be 8:59 p.m. PST — on Monday will be eligible to have their benefits, if approved, backdated to Aug. 10, 2022 — the day President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, according to information supplied by Glenn Cutler, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 5 service officer.
The original deadline was Thursday, Aug. 10.
Veterans or their survivors can get help submitting paperwork for claims under the Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 from Disabled American Veterans service officers in Clallam and Jefferson counties at no cost.
The PACT Act brings these changes:
• Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras.
• Adds more than 20 more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic exposures.
• Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.
• Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care.
The DAV service officers are trained and certified in both counties on the North Olympic Peninsula to help veterans and survivors by answering questions and helping them file a claim or a notice of intent to file a claim at no cost. All service officers are former military members and receiving benefits from the VA.
They are available on Wednesdays in Port Angeles and Sequim and on Tuesdays in Port Townsend.
• Port Angeles: Cutler is available from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 E. Seventh St. For information, call 360-457-7004.
• Sequim: Service officers Rob Brooke, John Joseph and Derrell Sharpe are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays at the Worksource Building at 810 W. Brackett Road. For information, call 360-775-6482.
• Port Townsend: Service officers Paul Cahill and John Hamilton are available from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St. For information, email email@example.com.