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PACT Act veteran eligibility expanded, Texas leads U.S. in filing PACT Act claims

large fire and smoke behind military personnel

AUSTIN, TX – More veterans are now eligible for health care benefits following the VA expansion of the PACT Act* to cover all veterans exposed to toxins and other hazards during military service. This expansion now makes eligible those who served at home as well as abroad. Additionally with this expansion, more veterans can enroll directly into VA health care without any need to first apply for VA benefits. The new rules took effect March 5, 2024.

Veterans who are unsure whether their exposure qualifies for enrollment or if they were previously denied enrollment should visit their VA health care facility or contact a Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Health Care Advocate. Assistance enrolling in VA health care and with resolving VA health care issues is available at no cost from TVC. Find the Health Care Advocates by area at .

Veterans can get assistance filing their disability compensation claims at no cost from TVC Claims at .

Enacted in August 2022, the PACT Act greatly expanded eligibility for toxic exposure, burn pits and more. Texas leads the nation in veterans filing disability claims associated with the PACT Act, at over 161,920, since it was enacted. Additionally, Texas has the largest veteran population of any state, at over 1,543,350. Veteran populations and claims filing numbers may be found by state with the VA Pact Act Performance Dashboard at .

“Texas is the best state for veterans, and Texas Veterans Commission is here to ensure they receive the benefits they earned by serving their country,” said TVC Executive Director and U.S. Army veteran Tom Palladino. “We are proud to have helped more veterans than any other state file their disability benefits with the VA since the PACT Act took effect.”

Helping veterans starts here. The Texas Veterans Commission advocates for and provides superior service to veterans that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Texas veterans, their families, and survivors. The TVC assists veterans with receiving their benefits, provides funding to agencies which provide direct services to veterans and administers the Hazlewood Act education benefits. Learn more at .

*VA news release at

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