Kerr County officials want to remind U.S. Armed Forces veterans who deployed to a combat zone , never enrolled in Veterans Administration health care and left the military before September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013, to enroll directly for VA healthcare due to the PACT Act. This special enrollment period lasts until Sept. 30, and gives veterans who served in certain combat zones an opportunity to enroll directly in VA health care.
The special enrollment period is a part of the PACT Act, which is the largest expansion of VA healthcare and benefits seen in a number of years. According to Kerr County Veterans Service Officer Jennifer Sanchez, “Even if you don’t need this care now, you may need it in the future, and once you’re in, you have access for life.” Although this deadline is written into law for this specific group of veterans, many other groups of veterans are able to enroll directly in VA healthcare without first applying for VA benefits – including veterans who deployed to a combat zone and transitioned out of the service fewer than 10 years ago.
Veterans can still access VA healthcare by filing for benefits based on income, and if a veteran is granted service for any health condition , they become eligible for VA care. The PACT Act has expanded and has made care available to many more veterans by making more than 300 health conditions “presumptive” for service connection.
For more information about how the PACT Act is helping veterans and their survivors, visit www.accesstocare.va.gov/healthcare/pactact.