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Biden Marks Anniversary of Law Aiding Veterans Exposed to Toxic Substances

One year ago, President Joe Biden signed a law that expands Department of Veterans Affairs health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances. 

A man stands behind a lectern with microphones.
PACT Act Speech
President Joe Biden speaks about the PACT Act in Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 10, 2023.
Photo By: Screen capture of live event
VIRIN: 230810-O-D0439-001Y

Today, Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, or PACT Act, in a speech to veterans and their families, state leaders and members of veteran and military service organizations at the Salt Lake City VA in Utah. 

"The PACT Act is one of the most significant laws ever signed to help veterans exposed to toxic materials," the president said. 

"We have many obligations as a nation. We only have one truly sacred obligation, and that's to equip those we send into harm's way and care for them and their families when they come home — and when they don't," Biden said. 

According to the VA, the PACT Act: 

  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures and veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras. 
  • Adds 20 more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic exposures. 
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation. 
  • Requires the VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care. 
  • Helps the VA improve research, staff education and treatment related to toxic exposures. 

Veterans can file claims to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. For more information, visit or call 800-698-2411. 

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