The PACT Act provides expanded compensation and medical benefits to service-members and their families.
Since 2007, Bluestein Attorneys has proudly helped hundreds of veterans across the U.S. get the benefits they deserve for their service and sacrifice to our country.
Our veteran-led VA disability team has assisted veterans, and their widows, in collecting benefits related to a number of condition-specific claims, including orthopedic injuries, PTSD, cancer, brain injuries, heart issues, neurological problems, and lung disorders.
However, Congress has finally responded to the calls to action to right the wrongs and its treatment of veterans and their families who have contracted horrible diseases from these toxic exposures.
We are pleased to report that Congress is on the verge of passing the largest veterans benefits bill in history, the PACT Act of 2022, which would provide additional benefits to millions of “toxic-exposed” veterans and their families.
This is truly a momentous and long-overdue development from the government to finally take steps to honor its promise to those who have served our country.
Contact the Bluestein Attorneys PACT Act Team Today!
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is contained within the larger Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022.
This legislation’s primary accomplishment is creating a federal cause of action relating to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Generally, this cause of action allows anyone who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., for thirty (30) days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to be compensated for injuries/illness arising out of contaminated water. The new PACT Act of 2022 allows for military members, family members (including children in the womb at the time), and workers to bring suits outside the VA disability system for recovery, and significant compensation may be available.
This new bill opens up an entirely new class of potential claimants for recovery. In 2012, Congress made it possible to process disability claims through the VA for eight (8) specific conditions: cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, adult leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and Parkinson’s disease, aplastic anemia, and other myelodysplastic syndromes.
We have been helping veterans since 2013 pursue VA Disability claims related to their exposure to the toxic Camp Lejeune water. Residents and workers at Camp Lejeune from that timeframe have reported increased rates of additional diseases like cancers of the cervix, esophagus, breast, lung, pancreas, prostate, rectum, and soft tissue; Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, female infertility, and miscarriage. Any of these conditions could also be linked to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune and may justify a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim. Family members may also be able to bring wrongful death claims on behalf of those who had previously passed away from a condition related to the toxic Camp Lejeune water.
The deadline to file claims may only be months away after the bill becomes law, so you need to act fast. Contact the Bluestein Attorneys team as soon as possible to determine your eligibility or to have your questions answered by our team of legal professionals. Call us at (877) 524-4675 or fill out our form online.
PACT ACT Video Discussion
With the passing of the Pact ACT, there have been a lot of questions regarding existing VA Benefits and the effects additional benefits from the Pact ACT may have.
In this video we take a deeper look into how benefits are calculated and how they will not affect your existing benefits.
New Burn Pit Presumptions
In addition to the expansion of benefits for Camp Lejeune's toxic exposures, the PACT Act will also make it easier for veterans to collect benefits for the toxic exposures from burn pits.
After serving our country overseas, many veterans in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror are now suffering from lung ailments, cancers, malignancies, respiratory illnesses, and a whole flurry of truly awful and devastating medical conditions due to the toxic mix of garbage, dust, smoke, and debris they breathed while there.
According to a survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 86% of veterans of these wars were exposed to burn pits during their time in the service. The VA has denied approximately 80% of veterans' burn pit claims since 9/11/2001.
The Honoring Our PACT Act legislation has a provision that will establish a presumption of service connection for certain conditions. In essence, if the bill passes, the VA will be forced to accept that Burn Pits exposure is directly linked to 23 separate medical conditions in our soldiers, including several types of cancer, leukemia, asthma, chronic bronchitis/sinusitis/rhinitis, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and interstitial lung disease.
For veterans of the Vietnam War, which ended 47 years ago, the PACT ACT will add Thailand, Guam, Cambodia, Laos, American Samoa, and Johnston Atoll as presumed locations for Agent Orange (AO) exposures and includes hypertension as a service-connected illness from AO, which was long sought by Vietnam War veterans.
Expanded Health Care for Toxic Exposed Veterans
The bill defines toxic exposed veterans as those who participated in a toxic exposure risk activity while serving active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training. These veterans could become eligible for expanded hospital care (including mental health services and counseling), medical services, and nursing home care for any illness. Veterans who were deployed in support of a contingency operation are also eligible for these health care services. Contingency operations include:
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Resolute Support Mission
For many military service members and veterans, a disabling injury or illness is the unfortunate aftermath of their time spent in service to our country. If you’ve sacrificed during your service and feel you’ve lost something due to your disability, you do not need to suffer alone. We can help you with service-connected injuries, survivor claims, and more.
Our team of attorneys at Bluestein Attorneys hold a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of veterans who need a voice. We strive to help you navigate legal and personal challenges that you may run into when working with the VA. Contact us today to see how we can help.
As a Veteran himself, I believe Mr. Mercer “gets it.”
He works hard for his Brothers and Sisters in arms. I have no hesitation in offering my full and honest endorsement for Mr. Mercer’s representation with the Department of Veterans Affairs. I highly recommend Mr. Mercer to any Veteran, in any state or location, when legal counsel is needed during the VA’s claim process.
- James B.