The Veterans Affairs Texas Coastal Bend is holding a town hall Wednesday evening about new benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances.
The event will offer claims assistance, toxic exposure screenings and help with enrollment for services.
The town hall is meant to help veterans understand the new benefits from the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022, or PACT Act.
The new law expands Veterans Affairs health care and benefits for those exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances during their military service.
“The law helps VA provide generations of Veterans — and their survivors — with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve,” a news release stated.
The news release describes the law as being perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history.
Changes included expanded and extended eligibility for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 era.
The law adds 20 new “presumptive conditions” for burn pits and other toxic exposures and more “presumptive-exposure locations” for Agent Orange and radiation.
The PACT Act requires Veterans Affairs to provide toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled for health care.
It also bolsters research, staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures.
The town hall will be held on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the McAllen VA Outpatient Clinic located at 901 E. Hackberry Ave.
Those who are unable to attend are asked to call 800-698-2411 or to visit The PACT Act And Your VA Benefits | Veterans Affairs.