12/09/2022 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2022 19:43
CINCINNATI, OH - Today,U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a roundtable with local veterans to discuss the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022that was signed into law by President Biden over the summer. The Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to start processing PACT Act disability claims in January.
"This law is the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country's history,"?said Brown.?"This is a cost of going to war. If you were exposed to toxins while serving our country, you deserve the benefits you earned. Period. No exceptions."
The legislation is named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, a Central Ohio veteran who passed away in 2020 at age 39 from lung cancer after exposure to burn pits during a one-year deployment in Iraq in 2006.
Brown was joined by veterans who have been exposed to, and affected by, burn pits during their military service. Local advocates also attended the roundtable discussion.
"This law will help veterans facing toxic exposure, and surviving family members and friends," said Karl Williams, Army veteran and Manager of Military and Veteran Services for Easterseals Redwood. "It will also provide generations of veterans and their survivors the care and benefits they have earned and deserve. The PACT Act is a critical step towards fulfilling our nation's obligation to care for our veterans."
The PACT Act is the result of a years-long fight by Brown, veterans and advocates to secure access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care and disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals. He now is working with Ohio veterans, their families and advocates to bring additional attention to provisions in the PACT Act so veterans can get the care they've earned and deserve. ?
All Ohio veterans and family members can go to?va.gov/pact?to find out more about these benefits.