top of page

What is the PACT Act?

The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.

Have questions about the PACT Act and applying for benefits?

Sign up for the Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit registry

Gulf War Era Veterans

Gulf War Veterans who meet certain criteria do not have to prove an association between their illness and military service. By assuming a link between symptoms and military service, VA simplifies and speeds up the application process for health care and disability compensation benefits.

If you served in any of these locations and time periods, you are likely eligible for this new presumptive ruling.

On or after September 11, 2001, in any of these locations:









The airspace above any of these locations

On or after August 2, 1990, in any of these locations:






Saudi Arabia


The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The airspace above any of these locations

The VA recently extended the Gulf War presumptive deadline to December 31, 2026. 

The following cancers and diseases are now presumptive of Gulf War qualifying service:

Brain cancer; gastrointestinal cancer; glioblastoma; head cancer of any type; kidney cancer; lymphatic cancer; lymphoma; melanoma; neck cancer; pancreatic cancer; reproductive cancer of any type; respiratory cancer; asthma; chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); rhinitis; sinusitis; constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis; emphysema; granulomatous disease; interstitial lung disease (ILD); pleuritis; pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

Additionally, the VA considers the following conditions to be pressumptively connected to Gulf War service as well:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Fibromyalgia, Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; Asthma; Sinusitis; Rhinitis; Undiagnosed Symptoms including but not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

Click here to learn more - including definitions of the above conditions


Vietnam Era Veterans

2 new Agent Orange presumptive conditions based on the PACT Act:

High blood pressure (also called hypertension)

Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

Click Here for a complete list of conditions

You are eligible for VA covered service as an Vietnam era veteran if you had active service in the following locations: 

Between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, you must have served for any length of time in at least one of these locations:

In the Republic of Vietnam, or

Aboard a U.S. military vessel that operated in the inland waterways of Vietnam, or

On a vessel operating not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the demarcation line of the waters of Vietnam and Cambodia

Or you must have served in at least one of these locations that we’ve added based on the PACT Act:

Any U.S. or Royal Thai military base in Thailand from January 9, 1962, through June 30, 1976, or 


Laos from December 1, 1965, through September 30, 1969, or

Cambodia at Mimot or Krek, Kampong Cham Province from April 16, 1969, through April 30, 1969, or


Guam or American Samoa or in the territorial waters off Guam or American Samoa from January 9, 1962, through July 31, 1980, or


Johnston Atoll or on a ship that called at Johnston Atoll from January 1, 1972, through September 30, 1977

Or at least one of these must be true for you:

You served in or near the Korean DMZ for any length of time between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, or


You served on active duty in a regular Air Force unit location where a C-123 aircraft with traces of Agent Orange was assigned, and had repeated contact with this aircraft due to your flight, ground, or medical duties, or


You were involved in transporting, testing, storing, or other uses of Agent Orange during your military service, or


You were assigned as a Reservist to certain flight, ground, or medical crew duties at one of the locations listed here

Eligible Reserve locations, time periods, and units include:

Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio, 1969 to 1986 (906th and 907th Tactical Air Groups or 355th and 356th Tactical Airlift Squadrons)


Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, 1972 to 1982 (731st Tactical Air Squadron and 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, or 901st Organizational Maintenance Squadron)


Pittsburgh International Airport in Pennsylvania, 1972 to 1982 (758th Airlift Squadron)

Click here to work with one of our service officers and see if you qualify

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Blue Water Navy

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, Veterans who served as far as 12 nautical miles from the shore of Vietnam are presumed to have been exposed to herbicides, such as Agent Orange, and may be entitled to service connection for any of the conditions related to herbicide exposure.

Additionally, Veterans who served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from September 1, 1967, to August 31, 1971, may now qualify for compensation and benefits for themselves and their family members.

Who may be eligible for benefits?

Veterans who served aboard a U.S. military vessel in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.


The vessel must have operated not more than 12 nautical miles seaward from the coordinates listed in PL 116-23.


Blue Water Navy (BWN) claims will be processed under current prioritization criteria which include, but are not limited to, giving priority to claims of Veterans who are over age 85 or who have a terminal condition.

What if I don’t know if my vessel was within the 12-nautical mile limit?

VA is partnering with the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to determine which U.S. military vessels were in offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam between 1962 and 1975.


They've created a Vessel Locator Tool that will access these records and digitized deck logs to quickly determine the vessel’s location and verify eligibility.


The best way to determine if you’re eligible is to submit a claim with VA or work directly with a VSO representative. VA will then work with you and/or your family members to determine eligibility. 

Click here to work with one of our service officers and see if you qualify

bottom of page