Since the signing of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act into law last August, President Biden announced that 500,000 related claims have been submitted by Veterans, and three million Veterans have been screened for exposure.

Marcos Lugo, from the VA’s White River Junction regional office, says that the recently passed PACT Act expands benefits and healthcare for Veterans through the VA. It includes a comprehensive list of presumptive conditions linked to toxic exposure, and is one of the most extensive laws to have been implemented, according to Lugo.

“The PACT Act, what it does, in part, is establishes a presumption of some of these conditions, which means that once we verify you participated in one of these service locations, and you have a disability, it automatically links back to it,” said Lugo.

“Far too many of our men and women in uniform, their military service involved exposure to hazardous environments and substances – exposures that could lead to harmful health effects including cancer, respiratory illnesses, or hypertension,” said Biden in a statement.

The VA is organizing a claim clinic this Saturday, April 29th, at the Vermont National Guard Armory in Saint Albans to assist Veterans with submitting claims.