El Paso County, Colorado, August 11, 2023 – El Paso County is proud to announce the Veteran PACT Act Claims Clinics were a success. The clinics, held from August 7th to 9th, saw a tremendous turnout of veterans and their families, who attended to access the benefits they deserve for their sacrifices on behalf of the country. To date, over 1,200 veterans have benefited from these clinics.
“I am grateful for the overwhelming response from our veteran community to the clinics, said El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez, Jr. “The PACT Act Claims Clinics have proven invaluable in helping veterans access the benefits they rightfully deserve. Working with our partners has been instrumental in the success of the clinics. I want to express my appreciation for the collaboration and support from our partners in serving the veteran community”.
The PACT ACT, officially known as the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, expands V.A. healthcare eligibility and benefits for veterans with toxic exposure from the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras. It covers many existing and new presumptive conditions stemming from Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxic exposures. This includes Benefits for Surviving Spouses.
During the clinics, Veterans Services Officers assisted veterans and surviving spouses with filing a claim and, if applicable, completed compensation and pension exams on-site. August 10 was the deadline for veterans to file a claim or submit an intent to file and have their benefits backdated to August 10, 2022. However, the VA has extended the deadline through Monday, August 14, 2023, for veterans and surviving spouses to apply for PACT Act benefits backdated to August 10, 2022. Veterans and surviving spouses can visit https://www.va.gov/ to file a claim online or learn how to submit a intent to file.
After Monday, August 14, 2023, veterans and surviving spouses can still file a claim, but it will no longer be backdated to August 10, 2022. Additionally, Veterans discharged between 9/11/2001 and 10/1/2013 who have yet to enroll in healthcare have a special window to enroll until September 30 of this year.
El Paso County wants to thank the El Paso County Veterans Services Office, Jefferson County Veterans Service Office, Teller County Veterans Services Office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs for their collaboration and support.
For more information on the PACT Act and how to file a claim, visit www.elpasoco.com/pact-act.