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    Making Sure Vets Get PACT Act Benefits Is New House Veterans Affairs Chairman’s Top Priority

    Making Sure Vets Get PACT Act Benefits Is New House Veterans Affairs Chairman’s Top Priority

    Ensuring the Department of Veterans Affairs does not get overwhelmed by the influx of patients and claims coming from the sweeping toxic exposure law passed last year will be a priority of the new House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman, the lawmaker told .com in an interview.

    Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., said he sees no signs yet that the VA is being overwhelmed, noting that the law, known as the PACT Act, also gave the department the funding and flexibility to hire more claims processors and medical staff. But he added that it will be important for Congress to stay on top of the issue as the implementation progresses.

    “That's 3.5 million-plus new people receiving services. That's a lot of people on a system that's already a big system,” Bost said in the Monday phone interview. “We got to make sure that we're ready to roll and no one loses out on what they're already receiving.”

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    The PACT Act, which was signed into law in August, expanded VA health care and benefits for millions of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service, including and Afghanistan veterans who breathed in fumes from burn pits.

    The department began accepting benefits claims shortly after the law was enacted and processing them at the start of January. As of Tuesday, the VA had received 278,000 PACT Act claims and processed 39,250,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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