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    Statement from Commissioner Baker on the Passage of the PACT Act

    Friday, August 05, 2022 | 12:00pm

    NASHVILLE – Recently, the Senate passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxic Act of 2022, commonly referred to as the PACT Act, expanding the ability of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to care for Veterans who have been exposed to toxins, including burn pits, during their military service. The bipartisan act empowers the VA to provide care and benefits to Veterans suffering from toxic exposure related conditions. “I commend the US Senators from Tennessee for acknowledging these important issues,” said Commissioner Tommy Baker “by voting to ensure that the benefits our Veterans earned during their selfless service are made available to them.” “The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services stands ready to serve Veterans across the state in ensuring they receive the care they deserve,” continued Baker. “Once this bill is signed into law, we will work alongside our partners at the VA to ensure the Volunteer State’s Veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned through their service.” This comprehensive legislation’s intent is to provide care and benefits to toxic-exposed Veterans of all generations. It not only expands care and benefits, but also codifies VA’s new process for evaluating and determining presumption of exposure and service connection for various chronic conditions. It improves research, VA staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures. It also includes other provisions such as an epidemiological study on Fort McClellan Veterans, a Federal cause of action for harm caused by exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune, and authorization to provide electronic notice for certain claim related actions. The PACT Act is being hailed as the largest expansion of care and benefits in VA history. TDVS is prepared to serve Tennessee Veterans and ensure they obtain the care and benefits they have earned. Veterans and their family members are encouraged to visit, or call (615) 741-2345 to learn how this bill might impact them. VA has also established a webpage – -- to help answer questions. ###

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