HEALTH

Veterans can soon sign up for the largest-ever expansion of VA health benefits

Feb 27, 2024, 12:31 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm

FILE: Vietnam War veterans gather for a photograph following a ceremony to recognize and honor Viet...

FILE: Vietnam War veterans gather for a photograph following a ceremony to recognize and honor Vietnam War veterans at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. On March 5, 2024, vets who served in a combat zone, beginning with the Vietnam War, can directly enroll in the health care program offered by the VA.(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Veterans exposed to toxins and other hazards during their military service will no longer have to wait years to receive VA health care. 

Beginning March 5, 2024, veterans who served in a combat zone, beginning with the Vietnam War, can directly enroll in the health care program offered by the VA.

VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes said this is the largest-ever expansion of healthcare for veterans.

“It impacts veterans of the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all those global war on terror conflicts, to come into our system and get the care that they have earned,” Hayes said.

 

President Biden announced accelerated eligibility to the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act in Utah last November on Veterans Day.

Before that, veterans had to wait as many as eight years to become eligible for the care.

“This impacts millions of veterans,” Hayes said, “many who may be challenged with some very difficult conditions as we speak. To those veterans, I tell you please, take advantage of this opportunity.”

Hayes urges all Veterans in Utah to sign up for the program at the George E. Wahlen Department Of Veterans Affairs Medical Center or on the VA’s website. It begins on March 5. 

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Veterans can soon sign up for the largest-ever expansion of VA health benefits