What is the PACT Act?

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, known as the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022, became effective on August 10, 2022. The act provides numerous changes to VA law enabling veterans to more easily receive benefits. The changes applicable to VA disability are expanded presumptions for conditions caused by exposure to toxins.

How does the PACT Act affect my VA disability claim?
A claim for VA disability has three elements that must be proven for benefits to be awarded:
1. The veteran must have a current diagnosis.
2. The veteran must have experienced an injury or event during active duty service.
3. The injury or event must have caused or contributed to the current diagnosis
The presumptions provided by the PACT Act automatically satisfy the 2nd and 3rd conditions above for veterans who served in certain geographic areas during specified periods of times and have one of the listed conditions. In this instance, a veteran need only prove that they have a current diagnosis and that they served in the relevant geographic area during the specified time.
There is no claim for PACT Act, rather it makes individual claimed conditions easier to prove.
Many veterans are filing claims for disability benefits simply listing “PACT Act.” Unfortunately, these claims are destined to fail, as PACT Act is not a separate condition, but rather a tool that can be used to prove the service connection of other conditions. To succeed, veterans must list a specific medical condition that has a presumption under PACT Act. For example, a veteran should list “asthma” as a condition, not “PACT Act”
Presumptions provided under the PACT Act

The following conditions are considered presumed based on exposure to burn pits:
 Brain cancer
 Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
 Glioblastoma
 Head cancer of any type
 Kidney cancer
 Lymphoma of any type
 Melanoma
 Neck cancer of any type
 Pancreatic cancer
 Reproductive cancer of any type
 Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
 Asthma that was diagnosed after service
 Chronic bronchitis
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
 Chronic rhinitis
 Chronic sinusitis
 Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
 Emphysema
 Granulomatous disease
 Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
 Pleuritis
 Pulmonary fibrosis
 Sarcoidosis

The following conditions are added to the presumptions for Agent Orange exposure:

 High blood pressure (also called hypertension)
 Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)