Expanded healthcare services now available for veterans

Posted 25 March 2024 at 1:45 pm

Press Release, Congressman Joe Morelle

ROCHESTER – Congressman Joe Morelle was joined by local leaders today to announce the full implementation of the Honoring Our PACT Act by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

All veterans exposed to toxins or other hazards while serving in the military are now eligible to enroll directly in VA healthcare, years ahead of schedule.

“We passed the Honoring Our PACT Act in Congress because our nation’s heroes shouldn’t have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to access the healthcare benefits they have rightfully earned from their courageous service,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I’m thrilled the provisions of our legislation have been implemented ahead of schedule, opening the door to life-saving care for millions of veterans. I am grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their swift action and look forward to our continued work together to ensure our veterans have the full benefits they deserve when they return home.”

The bipartisan Honoring our PACT Act, which Congressman Morelle voted to pass in 2022, expanded VA healthcare to veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service including burn pits and airborne hazards; created presumptions for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers, shifting the burden of proof off our veterans; and streamlined internal processes so more veterans can receive the help and support they need in a timely manner.

As of March 5, 2024, the VA has fully implemented the provisions of the Honoring Our PACT Act by making all veterans exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving in our armed forces—whether at home or abroad—eligible to enroll directly in VA health care. While the Honoring Our PACT Act mandates veterans become eligible increments between 2022 and 2032, this decision waives the phase-in approach and makes every veteran eligible for care immediately.

To see if you, your family, or someone you know is eligible for care under the Honoring Our PACT Act, visit VA.gov/PACT. To learn more about how to register for healthcare through the VA, click here.