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Center for Deployment-Related Lung Disease

News & Resources

Understanding the PACT Act

What is the PACT Act? The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act) is a landmark law expanding health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service, including burn pits, Agent Orange, and other environmental hazards. This historic legislation recognizes the long-term health effects linked to these exposures and provides crucial support for millions of Veterans and their families.

  • Expanded VA health care eligibility: Millions of Veterans from the Vietnam War, First Gulf War, and post-9/11 conflicts are now eligible for VA healthcare.
  • Presumptive service connection: The Act adds over 20 presumptive conditions, meaning certain illnesses are presumed to be connected to toxic exposures, simplifying the benefits application process for veterans.
  • Improved research and education: The PACT Act aims to improve research on the health effects of toxic exposure and strengthens Veterans Administration staff to better serve Veterans impacted by these issues.

Helpful Links and Resources

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (Opens in a new window)

  • VA established this free registry in 2014 to help better understand the potential health effects of exposure to airborne hazards during military service. By joining the registry, you can provide information via a health questionnaire that will help the VA provide better care to all Veterans. There is an optional health evaluation performed by a VA or military health provider after you complete the questionnaire. You are eligible to participate in this registry if you served in Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield (ODS), New Dawn (OND), or Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). To learn more about the registry, please visit the VA’s public health site. (Opens in a new window)

 Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals and Materials (Opens in a new window)

Three Agent Orange Presumptive Conditions Added (Opens in a new window)

Gulf War Registry Health Exam for Veterans (Opens in a new window)

  • Veterans who served in the Gulf during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn are eligible for the Gulf War Registry exam. You do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to take part. Please contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator (Opens in a new window) about getting a Gulf War Registry exam. Veterans who are eligible for the Gulf War Registry exam may also join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, which includes additional data related to airborne hazards.