Here’s what the PACT Act can do for you, how to apply

Aug 11, 2023, 11:30 AM | Updated: 2:12 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Veterans still have until Monday night to get backdated benefits through the PACT Act. 

Around 2,000 Utah vets have already had claims approved in the past year and advocates are trying to get anyone who hasn’t already applied to do so. Jenny Akin, Chief of Staff at Blue Star Families told KSL NewsRadio that, at its heart, the PACT Act makes it easier for Veterans and their surviving families to apply for assistance. 

“What was so great about the PACT Act is it removed the burden of proof for proving that more than 20 conditions or cancers were, in fact, connected to your military service.”


What is the PACT Act?

The PACT Act was signed into law a year ago by President Biden. Akin said it is the largest expansion of benefits for Veterans, as well as survivors and caregivers, in a generation.

“As many as one in five Veterans could receive new health care or disability payouts as a result of the PACT Act,” Akins said.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said the law provides health care and benefits to those exposed to toxic substances such as Agent Orange and burn pits. 

How to apply

Akin said there are many conditions eligible to receive benefits under the act. You can find a list of these conditions by visiting VA.gov/PACT.

The next step is to submit an intent to file by the new deadline on Aug. 14. This means your benefits will be backdated to Aug. 10, 2022. Any submissions after that day will be backdated only to the day you file. 

Anyone wanting to apply for backdated benefits can go to VA.gov/PACT  before 9:59 Monday night. 

The impact

As a survivor herself, Akin has experienced first-hand the benefits of the PACT Act. Her husband was also a Veteran and passed away from military-connected cancer in June. 

“I’m doing a lot of this advocacy in his memory.”

She explained how the coverage of this act goes further than civilian insurance companies. 

“Civilian insurance companies often don’t cover things like a liquid diet, and my husband had to be on a feeding tube and the VA did cover all of his meals,” she said, “which, you know, at $12 meal, five meals a day, that can add up pretty quickly for a family.”

She strongly encourages all who believe they may be eligible to apply.

“It’s not just veterans who are still alive, it is also survivors,” she said “If they believe that their veteran past from a service-connected cancer condition that’s covered under the pact act, you can also now be eligible for benefits.”


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Here’s what the PACT Act can do for you, how to apply