The PACT Act and your VA benefits

VA Secretary’s Statement on the Signing of the PACT Act
“The PACT Act is a historic new law that will help VA deliver for millions of Veterans — and their survivors — by empowering us to presumptively provide care and benefits to Vets suffering from more than 20 toxic exposure-related conditions. It will also bring generations of Veterans into VA health care, which will improve Veteran health outcomes across the board.

We at VA are ready to implement the PACT Act and deliver for toxic-exposed Veterans and their survivors. If you think you might be eligible for PACT Act benefits, here’s what you need to know:

You can apply for PACT Act-related benefits now by filing a claim at VA.
As President Biden announced at the bill signing, we are making all 23 presumptive conditions in the PACT Act eligible for benefits effective today, August 10.
You can learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT or calling 1-800-MyVA411.
Thank you to all of the Veterans, survivors and family members who fought tirelessly to make this day possible, and thank you to President Biden for keeping our nation’s promise to those who served. We at VA will stop at nothing to make sure that every Veteran and every survivor gets the PACT Act-related care and benefits they deserve.” – VA Secretary Denis R. McDonough

https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/?utm_source=Feature&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=VetResources&utm_id=10AUG2022

NCA launches new interactive “Find a Cemetery” map

In time for this year’s Memorial Day, NCA has launched a new interactive “Find a Cemetery” map. The feature enables Veterans to search for their final resting place or for those who want to visit their Veteran interred at any of the 155 VA managed or 119 VA-funded cemeteries.

A brand-new feature of the clickable map will allow users to enter a zip code and find the closest cemetery. As shown below, the result from a zip code search will display a pop-up modal window where users can click over to the cemetery web page, call the cemetery (from a mobile phone), look up directions, find burial schedule information or leave tributes, photos and more at the Veterans Legacy Memorial.

Find a cemetery

Find a cemetery feature on the website.

Users can also simply click on a state or territory to display the cemeteries there with blue or green pins representing VA managed or VA funded cemeteries. Clicking on a pin will bring up the same pop-up modal as the zip code search.

Below the large clickable map, users can still find a text list of states and territories. This layout on the page allows users to see the full list of cemeteries available at that those locations, and is easy to read on desktop or mobile devices

Although some locations are now closed for additional interments, burial benefits in one of these cemeteries is available to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active-duty service requirements and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty or who die while on training duty under certain circumstances are also eligible for burial, as are service members and former service members who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death. A Veteran’s spouse, widow or widower, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children with disabilities, may also be eligible for burial. Eligible spouses and children may be buried even if they predecease the Veteran.

VA provides the gravesite, grave liner, opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, U.S. burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate and perpetual care of the gravesite at no cost to the family. For more information about burial and memorial benefits, go to https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/.

VA Secretary’s Statement on the Passage of the PACT Act

VA Secretary’s Statement on the Passage of the PACT Act
“Veterans who were exposed to toxic fumes while fighting for our country are American heroes, and they deserve world-class care and benefits for their selfless service. The bipartisan PACT Act will help VA deliver for those Veterans—and their survivors—by empowering us to presumptively provide care and benefits to Vets suffering from more than 20 toxic exposure-related conditions.

To those Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors: you can apply for PACT Act benefits by filing a claim at VA.gov, and you can learn more about the PACT Act at VA.gov/PACT or by calling us at 1-800-MyVA411. VA will be communicating with you every step of the way to make sure that you and your loved ones get the benefits you’ve earned.

I couldn’t be more grateful to President Biden, who made this day possible by fighting like hell for our nation’s Veterans. Once the President signs this bill into law, VA will implement it quickly and effectively, delivering the care these Veterans need and the benefits they deserve.” – VA Secretary Denis R. McDonough

The Number To Call When You Don’t Know Who To Call

You have questions. VA has answers.
Call VA today.
1-800-MyVA411
(1-800-698-2411)
The number to call when you don’t know who to call.
You only need to remember one number for information on VA care, benefits, and services or to speak to a live agent for assistance!
1-800-MyVA411 serves all members of the Veteran and service member community seeking information or assistance.
Call for helpful information on:
  • COVID-19 general information and updates
  • Health care eligibility and enrollment
  • VA benefits, such as disability, compensation and pension, education programs, caregiver support, insurance, home loans, and burial headstones and markers, among others
  • The nearest VA medical centers, benefits offices, or cemeteries to Veterans
  • Directory assistance and connection to all VA contact centers and VA Medical Centers
  • Technical support for VA.gov
  • Debt and payment options
  • Immediate transfer to the Veterans Crisis Line or the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans
Will I be able to speak to a live agent?
Yes!
When you call 1-800-MyVA411 and press 0, you will reach a live agent for immediate assistance or connection to the right VA experts.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie Discusses Recent VA Accomplishments

Coping with crisis and emergency situations is nothing new to VA. We trace our birth back to the Civil War, when an exhausted President Lincoln called on America to care for everyone who took up arms in that bloody battle. VA evolved in leaps and bounds when World War II called for a nationwide system to care for the men and women who liberated Europe. In 2020, VA faced a very different kind of crisis in the form of COVID-19, and it became VA’s responsibility once more to see our Veterans through it.
Many would agree that VA probably wasn’t up to this task just a few short years ago, after VA leaders were caught misrepresenting Veterans’ access to health care. Morale within VA was low, and polls showed most Veterans didn’t think very much of a bureaucracy that was failing them. Six years ago, a CNN poll showed that just 37% of Americans approved of VA’s performance.
But over the last few years, VA was reborn. Today our approval rating stands at about 90% for health care, and among our fastest growing population – women – we have an 86% approval rating.
Morale soared. From 2014 to 2016, VA was near the bottom of federal agencies in a survey of best places to work in the government. Now VA is sixth, and we expect to be fifth when new numbers come out in March.
We did it by listening to our employees and the Veterans we serve. I visited every state in the union and nearly every territory to talk to Veterans.
Veterans had been demanding options outside of VA care for years, and we delivered real, permanent choice to them through the MISSION Act. Now, millions of Veterans are getting care right in their communities and are finally at the center of their own health care decisions.
Giving Veterans choice didn’t mean the end of VA. Instead, we made VA more accountable and empowered VA staff to once more live up to the legacy of this department, and they rose to the occasion.
Recent studies show VA measures up to the private sector on access and quality.
Veterans liked what they saw and started voting with their feet. VA completed a record number of appointments in fiscal year 2019 – 59 million! – the same year the MISSION Act took effect. The more Veterans we served, the more Veterans trusted us. Trust in VA care hit a record high in April 2020.
VA achieved what all the experts in Washington said was impossible by rolling out a modernized health record that will make it easier than ever for health professionals to access Veterans’ medical history. No longer will Veterans have to lug boxes of paper records around, as my father did after serving in Vietnam.
We turned VA into a more welcoming place for women Veterans. VA now provides a full range of services for women Veterans and has a military sexual trauma coordinator at each of its medical centers.
We put staff, patients and visitors on notice that we have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment. Our ongoing campaign aimed at preventing these incidents is just one way of making a difference – another is the growing number of women we have in leadership roles who oversee our employees, 63% of which are women.
VA has tackled some of the most chronic problems facing Veterans with renewed energy. VA is working with states to reduce Veterans’ use of harmful opioids, which fell 48% over the last four years.
We’re working with local governments and companies to end Veteran homelessness. And VA is leading the effort not only to end Veteran suicide, but to begin a nationwide dialogue to prevent this tragedy among all Americans.
By the time COVID-19 hit, VA was a different organization than the one you read about in 2014 – we were ready for this mission. While the virus was a serious threat to many non-VA nursing homes, VA’s early actions to protect its most vulnerable patients resulted in far fewer infections at the homes we manage. We also used telehealth to keep in touch with patients at a time of social distancing.
VA’s performance during the crisis was so strong that 1,000 VA staff members deployed on more than 3,700 missions to assist non-VA health networks, including those that serve Native Americans.
VA has tested more than 1.3 million people for the virus and treated more than 125,000 Veterans. As of January 4, 2021, VA had administered more than 146,000 initial vaccine doses to Veterans and health care employees just a few weeks after it became available.
Before 2016, VA was falling short of Lincoln’s promise. Today, thanks to thousands of dedicated employees across the nation, VA has undergone the most transformational change seen since the end of World War II, and emerged from that process with renewed strength.
As a result, VA is now closer than ever to fulfilling the vision Lincoln had for our brave men and women who wear the uniform.