Veterans to Receive $5.7 Billion in Benefits, Thanks to Biden

In a historic moment for veterans across America, President Biden is set to announce the approval of over 1 million claims under the landmark PACT Act. 

A Bit of Background

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Let’s quickly talk about the PACT Act – officially known as the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

Tackling Toxic Exposure

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Passed in August 2022, this legislation is the biggest expansion of benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances in over 30 years.

Honoring Heath Robinson

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It’s named after Heath Robinson, a combat medic who tragically died from lung cancer linked to toxic exposure during his service.

What’s the PACT Act All About?

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The PACT Act tackles a serious issue: veterans suffering from illnesses like asthma and cancer due to toxic exposure during their military service.

Removing Barriers

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Before this act, proving that these health issues were service-related was a massive headache for veterans. But now, with this law, those barriers are gone. Veterans can get the care and benefits they deserve without jumping through endless hoops.

Biden’s Big Announcement

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Biden’s administration has announced that more than one million PACT Act-related claims have been granted. That means over 888,000 veterans and their survivors are now receiving new service-connected disability benefits in every state and U.S. territory.

Supporting Our Veterans

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Throughout his tenure, Biden has always emphasized that supporting veterans is a non-negotiable duty. Biden’s team claims that this law isn’t about politics, rather it’s about keeping a promise to those who risked their lives for America.

Bridging Divides with the PACT Act

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The PACT Act is a massive part of Biden’s Unity Agenda, a push to bring Americans together regardless of political affiliation. And apparently, it’s working – according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), who claim they are processing claims faster than ever.

The Numbers Speak

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Here’s a quick rundown of the statistics: Screenings: Over 5.4 million veterans have received free toxic exposure screenings under the PACT Act. Early detection saves lives, and this is a critical step. Benefits: Since the act’s enactment, more than $5.7 billion in benefits have been delivered to veterans and their survivors.

VA’s Processing Milestones

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Claims: The VA has processed 1.57 million claims this year alone – 28% more than the previous record. They have processed 1,327,228 PACT Act claims in total since August 2022. Cancer Prioritization: Under Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative, nearly $637 million in benefits have been delivered to veterans with cancer. The VA also prioritizes claims for veterans with terminal illnesses and those experiencing homelessness.

Encouraging Veterans to Apply

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Outreach: Thanks to an aggressive outreach campaign, veterans are applying for benefits at record rates. Over 4.17 million claims have been submitted since August 2022, including 1.65 million PACT Act-specific claims. VA Workforce: The VA is growing faster than ever, thanks to new authorities granted by the PACT Act. Both the Veterans Health Administration and the Veterans Benefits Administration have seen their highest growth rates in 20 years.

Fast-Tracking Benefits for Veterans

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Eligibility Expansion: The Biden-Harris Administration made all conditions in the PACT Act presumptive for benefits immediately, expediting care for veterans by several years. By making all conditions presumptive immediately and accelerating health care eligibility, veterans will receive their due support without unnecessary delays.

What’s Next?

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President Biden will be marking this milestone in Nashua, New Hampshire, joining veterans and their families at the Westwood Park YMCA. He’ll be discussing how the PACT Act has delivered lifesaving care and benefits to veterans, and talking about the new expansion of health benefits.

Marking Milestones

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The Biden administration are also pursuing the following paths in efforts to help the veteran population: Ending Veteran Homelessness: Biden’s administration has proposed guaranteed housing vouchers for low-income veterans, helping over 46,000 find permanent housing last year. Dallas is allegedly set to announce the end of veteran homelessness in the city within the next few days.

Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian Work

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Securing Jobs: Biden’s administration states they have helped 200,000 transitioning service members find good-paying jobs through apprenticeship programs.

No-Cost Support for Veterans in Crisis

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Mental Health Care: The VA will reportedly remove cost-sharing for the first three behavioral health visits and offer no-cost emergency care for veterans in crisis. Over 50,000 have benefited from this since 2023.

New Programs and Flexibility

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Supporting Caregivers: New programs and executive orders under Biden have provided more flexibility and mental health support for veteran caregivers, including 4,937 psychotherapy sessions since October 2023.

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