Whether someone served in the military for a few years when they were younger or pursued a military career, the effects of their service could last for life. Many people develop relationships and job skills in the military that will help them for many years to come.
However, there are also people who suffer serious injuries during their military service. Traumatic injuries and chemical exposure are among the top issues that lead to disability claims among military veterans, along with the mental and emotional stress that comes with service.
Veterans’ benefits include access to medical care for health issues related to someone’s military service and disability benefits. Recently, lawmakers have expanded the medical and disability benefits available for veterans.
This new expansion focuses on victims of toxic exposure
In August, 2022, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill into law. The PACT Act was the largest expansion of the benefits available to veterans in more than 30 years. The bill aimed specifically to provide support for veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with health issues related to toxic exposure.
Those with verifiable exposure to burn pits, in particular, may find that the PACT Act gives them quicker access to medical care and better disability support. This move is very important, as the majority of claims for disability benefits related to burn pits get denied. The bill earmarks $280 billion in support over 10 years to help veterans with toxic exposure and the surviving loved ones of veterans who die after their service.
What does The PACT Act mean for you?
As someone who has served in the military or who has a family member who served in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, the financial and medical consequences of that service could affect your family for years to come. You no longer have to worry about absorbing those medical costs or lost wages on your own.
Those who previously thought they could not pursue benefits may now realize that they have a valid claim. Others who previously tried to get benefits may determine that reapplying is now a worthwhile effort. Understanding the benefits available for military veterans and how they change will protect those paying for their service with their health years later.