Area vets getting millions in aid following PACT Act passage

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Vietnam War veterans are among local veterans getting benefits previously unavailable to them through the recently passed PACT Act.

Some veterans service commissions started processing PACT Act applications last fall.

Approved in 2022, the PACT Act expanded VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxic substances. The PACT Act adds to the list of health conditions that the government assumes or presumes were caused by exposure to these substances.

Some Vietnam vets who had suffered one or multiple other diagnoses in the past had not received compensation. Now, the PACT Act reopens the door for Vietnam-era veterans who had been exposed before, but had been denied benefits because the list of diagnoses was a lot more narrow in scope, officials said.

A lot are coming back and reapplying, and a fair amount of decisions are in favor of compensation being awarded with some backpay, officials said.

David Weeks, commander of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) chapter 9, which has more than 1,600 members, said the PACT Act is “working great.”

“I do a lot of claims for disabilities and it has gotten busy since we started the PACT Act,” Weeks said. “One area that I ... was having troubles with having people approved for is people who were in the Vietnam War, but they were in Thailand, Guam and quite a few other locations and (were) exposed to Agent Orange and they would not get any help before, and they are now, which is great.

“Now we’re able to give them the much needed disability stuff they need,” he said.

Commissions are eager to talk with Vietnam War veterans because they spent so long applying for benefits that were denied, and there have been many changes around what is available to them.

There are also more Vietnam era veterans facing end-of-life planning, and their surviving spouses are seeking benefits.

Every Ohio county has a veterans service commission that provides direct aid and helps local veterans access available programs, such as the PACT Act.

Find your local office below.

Butler County: Butler County Gov. Service Ctr. 315 High St., 1st Floor Hamilton, OH 45011. Phone: (513) 887-3600 Fax: (513) 887-3519

Champaign County: 220 E. Court St. Urbana, OH 43078. Phone: (937) 653-4554 Fax: (937) 484-4084

Clark County: 117 S. Fountain Ave. Springfield, OH 45502. Phone: (937) 521-2030 Fax: (937) 328-2457

Darke County: 611 Wagner Ave. Greenville, OH 45331. Phone: (937) 548-5305 Fax: (937) 548-0579

Greene County: 571 Ledbetter Rd. Xenia, OH 45385. Phone: (937) 562-6020 Fax: (937) 562-6021

Miami County: 510 W. Water St., Ste. 140 Troy, OH 45373-2986. Phone: (937) 440-8126 Fax: (937) 440-8128

Montgomery County: 627 Edwin C. Moses Blvd. 4th Floor, E. Medical Plaza Dayton, OH 45417. Phone: (937) 225-4801 Fax: (937) 225-4854

Preble County: 1322 N. Barron St. Eaton, OH 45320. Phone: (937) 456-6111 Fax: (937) 456-1019

Warren County: 320 E. Silver St. Lebanon, OH 45036. Phone: (513) 695-2717 Fax: (513) 695-2975

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