Letter to the Editor: April 3, 2024

Letter to the Editor published in the April 3, 2024 issue of the Tomahawk Leader.

Expansion of VA Health Care Eligibility for Toxic-Exposed Veterans

On Aug. 10, 2022, the PACT Act was signed into law. Under the PACT Act, all toxic-exposed veterans were supposed to become eligible for VA health care on a phased-in schedule between now and 2032, but it allowed the VA to accelerate this schedule.

The VA chose to do so, and beginning March 5, 2024, veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving are now eligible to receive hospital care (including mental health services and counseling), medical services and nursing home care through the VA.

There are three categories of veterans who are now eligible for VA health care immediately. They are:

Veterans who participated in toxic exposure risk activity (TERA) while serving on active duty, active duty for training or inactive duty for training. The toxic exposure risk activities are:

  1. Air pollutants (burn pits, sand, dust, particulates, oil well fires, sulfur fires); chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, depleted uranium with embedded shrapnel, contaminated water);
  2. Occupational hazards (asbestos, industrial solvents, lead, paints including chemical agent resistant coating, firefighting foams);
  3. Radiation (nuclear weapons handling, maintenance and detonation, radioactive material, calibration and measurement sources, x-rays, radiation from military occupational exposure);
  4. Warfare agents (nerve agents, chemical and biological weapons).

Veterans who were assigned to a duty station in (including airspace above) the following locations:

  1. On or after Aug. 2, 1990, in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia or the United Arab Emirates.
  2. On or after Sept. 11, 2001, in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen or Uzbekistan.

Veterans who were deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Inherent Resolve and Resolute Support Mission.

If you have any questions about this, or if you’d like us to assist you with filing for VA health care, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tammy Javenkoski, CVSO, and Jason Dailey, Assistant CVSO, can be reached at 715-369-6127 or [email protected]. You can also contact us via Facebook at www.Facebook.com/oneidacvso or our website, www.oneidacountywi.gov/departments/vs/.

Tammy Javenkoski

Oneida County Veterans Service Officer

Scroll to Top