Current Events

Title:Wrap Up: VA hosts PACT Act Week of Action to inform Vets and survivors about new health care and benefits

Date:January 2023

Source:U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 195

President Biden signed the PACT Act into law on Aug. 10, and, between Dec. 10-17, VA hosted more than 120 events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to inform Veterans, their families and survivors about the PACT Act and to encourage them to apply for the health care and benefits they have earned.

During the week, VA hosted more than 120 PACT Act Week of Action events across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. At the events, Veterans applied for benefits, got screened for toxic exposures, enrolled in VA health care, and learned more about what the PACT Act could mean for them and their families.

President Biden summed up the Week of Action at a PACT Act Town Hall at the Major Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center in New Castle, Delaware, saying, "Passing the PACT Act was the first step of making sure that we leave no one behind. I'm urging all Veterans of these decades of war to enroll in the VA health care to get screening for toxic exposure and to promptly file your claim."

Secretary McDonough added, "There are millions of Veterans and survivors across America who are eligible for new health care and benefits, and we will not rest until every one of them gets what they've earned. That's what this PACT Act Week of Action is all about: educating Veterans, their families and survivors—and encouraging them to apply today."

Highlights from the PACT Act Week of Action

  • Veterans getting the health care and benefits they deserve: During the Week of Action, more than 160,000 Veterans were screened for toxic exposures. Additionally, nearly 15,000 Veterans applied for PACT Act-related benefits—a nearly 40% increase over the previous week. In total, since President Biden signed it into law Aug. 10, more than 200,000 Veterans have applied for PACT Act-related benefits and more than 820,000 Veterans have received the new toxic exposure screenings, with nearly 39% reporting a concern of exposure.
  • Veteran Advocates participating in the Week of Action: Countless leaders and Veteran advocates across the country participated in or promoted the Week of Action, including President Biden, Vice President Harris, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary McDonough, Deputy Secretary Remy, VA Chief of Staff Tanya Bradsher, Members of Congress, Veteran Service Organizations, state directors of Veterans Affairs, local elected officials, VA public servants, Jon Stewart, and many more. As a part of that effort, a bipartisan group of more than 85 Members of Congress (and their staffs) either promoted the event on social media or participated in events themselves; Representative Rueben Gallego, an Iraq War Veteran, got screened for toxic exposures.
  • President Biden delivering remarks on the PACT Act: President Biden spoke about our nation's sacred obligation to Veterans and their families, his Unity Agenda, and the PACT Act; his full remarks can be read here and viewed here. The President was preceded and introduced by Senator Carper, the last Vietnam Veteran serving in the U.S. Senate.
  • Secretary McDonough delivering remarks on the five things Veterans need to know about the PACT Act: Secretary McDonough also spoke at the Week of Action event, focusing his remarks on the 5 things that Veterans and their families need to know about the PACT Act. His full remarks can be read here and viewed here.
  • Jon Stewart releasing a PACT Act Public Service Announcement (PSA): Jon Stewart, who advocated for the passage of the PACT Act, posted a Week of Action video urging Veterans and their families to apply for the PACT Act benefits they've earned.
  • Media covering the Week of Action: The Week of Action generated approximately 1,700 news articles and nearly 3,300 broadcast items about the PACT Act.
  • Social media buzzing about the Week of Action: #PACTAct trended on Twitter, and the Week of Action helped drive a 75% increase in "PACT Act" google search interest week-over-week and a nearly 70% increase in PACT Act chatter on social media.
  • Veterans visiting the website: received 580,000 visitors during the Week of Action, a 17% increase over the previous week. The website is VA's one-stop-shop website for Veterans and survivors to learn about and apply for PACT Act-related care and benefits.
  • Veterans calling VA to learn more about the PACT Act: VA's call center (1-800-MYVA411) received more than 26,000 calls about the PACT Act during the Week of Action, a 10% increase over the previous week.
  • VA launching new PACT Act Videos: VA released several new PACT Act videos, including a General PSA, a PACT Act Benefits PSA, and videos from the perspective of a Veteran, a doctor and a caregiver. These videos are a part of VA's nationwide, targeted PACT Act advertising campaign, which is currently running across TV, streaming, radio, podcasts, YouTube, Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Military Times,, USA Today, RallyPoint and more.
  • VA releasing PACT Act materials in 10 languages: At the beginning of the week, VA released PACT Act flyers and information in 10 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

The PACT Act Week of Action is just one component of VA's nationwide PACT Act Veteran outreach campaign, which is the largest coordinated outreach campaign in VA history. The campaign has one goal: ensuring every eligible Veteran and survivor gets the PACT Act-related health care and benefits they have earned.

The PACT Act is the largest expansion of Veteran health care and benefits in decades. VA encourages all eligible Veterans and survivors to apply for their earned PACT Act-related health care and benefits now. Veterans and survivors can apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting by calling 1-800-MYVA411.

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