Deadline approaching to apply for retroactive benefits through VA

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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you are a veteran and believe you may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals and conditions during your service, you may qualify for benefits through the VA.

The clock is ticking to get access to expanded health care.

On Wednesday, our local VA System is encouraging people to come down to the hospital to file a claim under the PACT Act.

Veterans have until midnight to submit paperwork that will allow them to get extended benefits retroactive to August 10, 2022, when the act was passed.

The act applies to people exposed to environmental toxins, including burn pits and Agent Orange, who may have been turned away from care in the past.

"It has been years, but we've learned from those lessons, and now we realize there are presumptive conditions, health conditions, that exist in veterans that have served in many different campaigns," said James Zeigler, VA Central California Health Care Medical Center Director.

The PACT Act also covers exposures, such as high sounds and poor camp conditions -- and extends to surviving spouses.

The VA offers free screenings to see if you have been impacted.

To apply for the backdated benefits, click here.

If you miss the deadline, you can still apply for future benefits through the ACT.

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