x
COVID-19 TRIBAL RESOURCE CENTER

Veteran Affairs


Announcement: The Next PACT Act Deadline is September 30!

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, from now to September 30, 2023, all veterans "who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care, and left active duty between September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013 are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care –without first applying for VA benefits. Veterans can apply online or in person at their local VA facility until 11:59pm local time on September 30, 2023."



Additional FAQ provided by the VA:

Why should a Veteran apply for VA care?

  • VA is the best and most affordable health care in America for Veterans – and this is your chance to sign up.
  • Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care are proven to have better health outcomes than those who get their care elsewhere. And this year alone, VA has beaten non-VA hospitals in quality ratings and patient satisfaction ratings.
  • That’s because our clinicians know Veterans – they often are Veterans – and they know exactly how to help.
  • And VA health care isn’t only the best option for Veterans – it’s often the most affordable – with copays as low as $0 for prescriptions, urgent care, outpatient care, and more for some Veterans at VA.
  • So don’t wait – get the world-class care you’ve earned before its too late. Apply today at VA.gov/PACT.

Are these the only Veterans who can apply for VA care without first filing a claim for disability compensation benefits?

  • Many Veterans are able to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits – including many Vietnam Veterans, Gulf War Veterans, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone and transitioned out of the service less than 10 years ago, and more.
  • Veterans who do not meet any of these eligibility criteria may still be able to access VA health care based on their income.
  • Veterans who apply for and are granted service connection for any health condition can also become eligible for VA care.

What happens if a Veteran misses the deadline?

  • If a Veteran misses this deadline, there are still many ways for them to access VA care.
  • For example, if they apply for benefits and are granted service connection for any health condition, they can become eligible for VA care.
  • Veterans can also become eligible to enroll in VA health care based on their income.
  • For more information, visit https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/.

Why doesn’t VA just extend this deadline?

  • This deadline is written into law for this specific group for Veterans. But if a Veteran misses this deadline, there are still many ways for them to access VA health care.
  • For example, if you apply for benefits and are granted service connection for any health condition, you can become eligible for VA care.
  • Veterans can also become eligible to enroll in VA health care based on their income.
  • For more information, visit https://www.va.gov/health-care/eligibility/.

How many people have enrolled to date? How many people are eligible to enroll?

  • We don’t yet have numbers for this specific group of Veterans, but since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, more than 344,000 Veterans have enrolled in VA health care and more than 4.2 million Veterans have been screened for toxic exposures.

What do I get when I enroll in VA health care?

  • VA offers world-class, comprehensive health care – including yearly physicals, health assessments, free screenings, specialized care for issues related to military service, and more. This is true regardless of whether or not you have a service-connected condition.
  • VA health care can serve as your sole source of healthcare, or as a complement to other plans, and the care is portable, so the coverage follows you if they travel or relocate.

What happens to my current health care if I sign up for VA?

For the purposes of this deadline, what does it mean to have “deployed to a combat zone”?

  • This special enrollment period applies to Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after the Persian Gulf War or in combat against a hostile force after November 11, 1998.
  • If you fit that description, never signed up for VA health care, and left active duty between 9/11/01 and 10/1/13, you should sign up today.

Can Veterans still apply for benefits under the PACT Act?

  • The PACT Act is the largest expansion of VA benefits in generations, and Veterans and survivors can apply anytime for the PACT Act benefits they deserve.
  • Since the PACT Act was signed into law, VA has delivered more than $1.85 billion in PACT Act benefits to Veterans and their survivors nationwide – and that’s just the beginning.
  • Visit VA.gov/PACT to learn more and apply today.

How the PACT Act is helping Veterans:

  • The PACT Act has expanded VA health care and benefits for millions of Veterans and their survivors.
  • Since President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on August 10, VA has delivered more than $1.85 billion in PACT Act-related benefits to Veterans. Additionally:
    • More than 900,000 Veterans have applied for PACT Act-related benefits;
    • More than 4.2 million enrolled Veterans have received the new toxic exposure screenings;
    • More than 344,000 Veterans have enrolled in VA health care
  • We at VA want all eligible Veterans and survivors to get the care and benefits they’ve earned. So don’t wait, visit VA.gov/PACT to learn more and apply today.




National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: 202-507-4070 | Email: [email protected]