SAN ANGELO, Texas- The Pact Act also known as the ‘Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances while in operations.

“There is so much stuff that the military and civilian contractors throw in these burn pits to get rid of. Medical equipment, body parts, and all kinds of containments. These pits are not miles away but 5 to 10 feet from their camp,” said Commander of Disabled American Veterans, Luis Martinez.

This law helps provide generations of veterans and their survivors with the benefits, Martinez says they’ve earned.

“Anything that’s on that presumptive list of diagnoses, that you feel that you have now, you don’t have to prove anymore, it’s presumptive,” said Martinez. “The awesome thing is, not only does it focus on younger veterans, OIF, OEF, or Gulf War vets but it also brought Vietnam veterans back into the fold because those in Vietnam were exposed in different countries to ‘Agent Orange’. Now the Pact Act added more countries they can cover.”

Veterans are encouraged to start the process of filing a claim so when the law goes into effect in January 2023 vets will just need approval.

“If you think you have any presumptive conditions or you have questions about it, don’t be afraid to reach out to the Disabled American Veterans or the Concho Valley Veterans service officer. He’s located in the Cactus building and the DAV is located in the San Angelo VA clinic. Know your rights,” said Martinez.