Veterans exposed to toxins, other hazards now eligible for VA health care

Milford. Veterans who never deployed but were exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty are also eligible to enroll.

| 12 Mar 2024 | 05:56

Earlier this month, the federal Veterans Affairs (VA) office announced that all veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving in the military – at home or abroad – are now eligible to enroll directly in VA health care. This means that all who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other combat zone after 9/11 are eligible to enroll in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits. Additionally, veterans who never deployed but were exposed to toxins or hazards while training or on active duty in the U.S. are eligible to enroll.

This expansion of VA health care eliminates the phased-in approach called for by the PACT Act – meaning that millions of veterans are becoming eligible for VA health care up to eight years earlier than written into law.

“If you’re a veteran who may have been exposed to toxins or hazards while serving our country, at home or abroad, we want you to come to us for the health care you deserve,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Once you’re in, you have access for life.”

This decision makes it quicker and easier to enroll. Many veterans believe they must apply to receive VA disability compensation benefits to become eligible for VA health care, but this is not correct. With this expansion and other authorities, millions of eligible veterans can enroll directly in VA care – without any need to first apply for VA benefits.

For more information about how the PACT Act is helping veterans and their survivors, contact your local veteran’s affairs office or visit VA’s PACT Act Dashboard. To apply for care or benefits today, visit or call 1-800-MYVA411. More information on eligibility can be found at