VA and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma host PACT Act Claims Event, April 21
“Your Service. Our Mission: Bringing VA Benefits Home” Campaign
WHAT: “Your Service. Our Mission: Bringing VA Benefits Home” PACT Act Presumptive Conditions Campaign Event
The event is free and lunch will be provided.
WHEN: Friday, April 21, 2023, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Seminole Nation Veterans Building, Mekusukey Mission, 35429 Hwy 59, Seminole, OK
WHO: Veterans and their spouses/widows/widowers
HOW: If available, Veterans are asked to bring the following documents:
- Medical records/medical evidence (e.g., doctor or hospital reports)
- Any documents that provide historical or military information needed for the disability you are claiming
- Discharge or separation papers (DD 214 or equivalent)
- Dependent records (e.g., marriage certificate, death certificate, children birth certificates),
On April 21, 2023, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma will host a PACT Act Presumptive Conditions Campaign Event focused on identifying and assisting Veterans across Southern Oklahoma who may have presumptive disabilities and be eligible for a VA pension claim.
The Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances during their military service. This law helps VA provide generations of Veterans — and their survivors — with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.
At the event, on-site Veteran Service Officers will assist with filling out VA disability claim paperwork and VA staff will review claims on-the-spot with the goal of same day approval.
In addition, benefit advisors will be available from the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System, Muskogee VA Regional Benefits Office, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, local Vet Centers, Tribal and Indian Health Service programs, Tribal Veteran Service Officers, and the Security Disability Determination Office. VA health care representatives will enroll Veterans and provide toxin health screens.
A presumptive disability is a condition that VA presumes are related to military service, although the condition may first appear after discharge from the military. These conditions may qualify for VA compensation payments.
Spouses are encouraged to attend this event as they may be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation when a Veteran dies as a result of these presumptive disabilities.
Throughout 2023, VA is continuing a nationwide campaign to increase outreach related to the PACT Act, rolling out Veteran disability enrollment claims events collaboratively with more than 30 tribal communities. VA realizes this outreach effort could have a direct, tangible impact on the lives of thousands of previously unreached Veterans and their spouses.
“With the focus on Veterans with presumptive disabilities and those who are pension eligible, VA is hopeful we can help Indian Country Veterans access the full range of benefits they have courageously earned through their service,” said Stephanie Birdwell, VA’s Office of Tribal Government Relations director.
Perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history, the PACT Act brings these 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 more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits 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 VA improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures
If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. To learn more about the PACT Act, visit the PACT Act and VA benefits.