Don’t Miss a Critical Deadline to Complete Your PACT Act Claim

Don’t Miss a Critical Deadline to Complete Your PACT Act Claim
Photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz/Marine Corps

Did you start an online VA disability compensation claim or submit an “intent to file” (ITF) before last year’s deadline to receive retroactive payments to the signature date of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act?


You’re not alone – the VA estimates 300,000 yet-to-be-filed claims remain open but are quickly approaching their next deadline: Submitting the completed claim.


Veterans with claims at this stage can expect to receive a reminder via letter, email, or fax from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) of their pending deadline.   


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An ITF sets a potential effective or award date for your benefits. Notifying the VA of your intent to submit a claim starts a one-year timer for you to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim for service-connected disabilities. If you submit a complete claim within one year of the ITF, the benefits award date reverts to the date the VA received the ITF (or the date a claim started online) once the claim is adjudicated.


Learn more about how to submit an ITF (VA Form 21-0966) at this link.    


The PACT Act expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances. Over 1 million disability benefits claims have been approved since its passage. Military Times has additional information on the pending deadline.


Interested in a refresher on VA benefit programs?  Learn more and register NOW for MOAA’s semiannual webinar on your VA benefits, set for June 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Can’t make the live webinar? Register and you’ll receive a link to a recording.


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About the Author

Capt. Paul J. Frost, AFC®, USN (Ret)
Capt. Paul J. Frost, AFC®, USN (Ret)

Frost co-leads MOAA's Financial and Benefits Education program and is also an accredited Veteran Service Officer (VSO), providing VA disability compensation claim and appeal information and advice to the military community.