Veterans and servicemembers – Beware of benefit scammers

Most of us have seen television commercials or social media advertisements about veterans’ health conditions caused possibly by exposure to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. The advertisements often offer help to file a claim on behalf of the veteran or servicemember.

 

Though the shady business seems like they want to help, what they really want is a percentage of the benefits a veteran will receive, especially now with the passing of the PACT Act (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act).  What they will not tell you is, you do not have to pay to apply for any type of veteran benefits.

 

What is PACT Act:

 

One of the largest health care and benefit expansion in Veterans Affairs (VA) history.

 

The Pact Act will bring the following changes:

 

  • 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.
  • Adds 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures.
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care.
  • Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.

 

If you are a veteran or service member who is eligible under PACT Act for benefits, here are some helpful tools:

 

Apply for Benefits through the VA:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

 

Learn about accredited Representatives:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/vso/#:~:text=What%20is%20an%20accredited%20representative,on%20their%20VA%20benefits%20claims.

 

Accreditation search tool (here you can search attorneys, claims agents, or Veterans Service Organizations Representatives).

https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp

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