Mary Alice Reporting – PACT Act benefits are available for certain veterans and scammers are trying to take advantage.
The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 was enacted to support more than five million veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
Senator Sherrod Brown was behind the legislation and during a recent Senate Committee meeting, he pushed for more outreach.
“24,000 veterans in Ohio have already submitted PACT Act claims. I would encourage the VA to continue to be creative about your outreach, particularly looking at how to reach veterans who are not connected to the VA.”
Senior Advisor of Veterans, Troy Broussard, says AARP is trying to create awareness, especially since nearly two-thirds of service members are unaware this free assistance is available through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He adds that AARP has seen an uptick in fraud ahead of the August 10, 2023 deadline for veterans to apply to receive retroactive benefits. The scammers are promising lump-sum payments.
“Sometimes it could be a phone call, it could be through a letter. What we want our veterans to do is to be very vigilant and focus on this, veterans you never have to pay for earned benefits or service records, asking for your social to verify your military records that is going to be a scam.”
According to a 2021 AARP survey, military/veteran adults are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population. More details on the scams can be found at www.aarp.org/vetsfraudcenter.
Any veteran needing to apply for PACT Act benefits can contact the Tuscarawas County Veterans Services Office at 330-339-1163.
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