Mark August 9 on your calendar. Here’s why.

As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and the last remaining Vietnam veteran in the U.S. Senate, I know first-hand just how much our servicemembers give to our country. I believe it is our sacred obligation to care for our servicemen and women – along with their families – when they return home. That’s why I’m writing, to let you know about a very important date coming up under the PACT Act, which concerns veterans with toxic exposures, as well as veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras.

The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, better known as the PACT Act, expands and extends eligibility for VA health care to more than 3.5 million veterans. Although there is no official deadline to apply, it’s best to file a PACT Act claim – or submit an intent to file – by August 9, 2023. Filing by this date is important because, if your benefits are granted, they will be backdated to August 10, 2022, the day that President Biden signed the bill into law.

In order to file a PACT Act claim, or submit an intent to file, please visit

I was proud to work with the entire Delaware delegation to support this important legislation. I recently visited the Wilmington VA Medical Center to spread the word about available benefits and to ensure that veterans across Delaware know the importance of applying by August 9. In addition to expanded and extended eligibility for VA healthcare, the PACT Act helps veterans and their families by:

  • Adding 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures.
  • Requiring VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every veteran enrolled in VA health care.
  • Helping the VA improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.

This legislation truly represents what can happen when Democrats and Republicans come together to support our servicemembers. I’ve long said that we owe it to our veterans to ensure they have access to high-quality health care, and the PACT Act is a critical step in fulfilling that goal. You can read more about this in WDEL and Delaware Public Media.

Please be sure you file a claim, or submit an intent to file, so that our country can better deliver on its promise to serve you.

God Bless, 

Tom Carper