Attorney General Kris Mayes Advises Veterans of Possible VA Benefits for Exposure to Toxic Substances

NEW: Deadline to file has been extended to August 14

PHOENIX — Attorney General Kris Mayes advised veterans to take advantage of possible benefits under the PACT Act for exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances by filing a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by August 14. 

“Our veterans have sacrificed everything to serve our nation, and it’s up to us to give them the same dedication they’ve shown,” said Attorney General Mayes. “During their service, they may have been exposed to toxic burn pits or other substances like Agent Orange. Now, we must get them the healthcare benefits they deserve and need to address the impact to their health. I encourage Arizona veterans take advantage of this expansion and apply before August 14 to receive backdated benefits.”  

The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras. 

If eligible veterans and their families file a claim by August 14, 2023, they could get their benefits backdated to August 10, 2022. Past the deadline, veterans are still eligible to file claims for future PACT benefits after August 9, 2023. 

Important things to know about the August 14 deadline: 

  • Veterans must have submitted a PACT Act application or an intent to file by this deadline to qualify for any eligible backdated benefits. Missing the deadline does not mean missing out on all potential benefits, only the backdated ones. 
  • Scammers may try to target or pressure veterans because of this upcoming deadline for backdated benefits. Here are some tips to help avoid scams: 
  • Never pay a fee. Applying for any veterans’ benefits is always free. Beware of anyone claiming there is a cost to file. PACT Act claims can be filed for free online through the VA’s website or in person at a VA Regional Office. 
  • Never pay for help. Unaccredited “coaches” or “consultants” and others may offer to help file the application or intent to file in exchange for a fee or percentage of the benefits you get. Instead, seek free help from an accredited representative. 

Visit the VA’s website for more information about how the PACT Act expanded benefits and what steps you can take to file a claim and qualify for the backdated benefits. Veterans and their families can also call the VA regarding PACT Act questions at 800-698-2411. 

Veterans who suspect they’ve been the target of fraud can call the VA’s Office of Integrity and Compliance Help Line 24/7 at (866) 842-4357 (VHA-HELP) or email [email protected] for assistance and guidance. 

If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.   If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside of the metro Phoenix area at (800) 352-8431.