In Billings, Tester Hosts PACT Act Implementation Roundtable with Montana Veterans & Advocates
Tester met with VA officials, VSOs, and veterans to discuss VA’s sustained efforts to expand health care and benefits for toxic-exposed veterans and survivors under his historic bill
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today joined veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials, and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) in Billings to hear firsthand about implementation of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act—legislation championed by Tester in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to deliver generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits from VA.
“With the support of Montana veterans and Veterans Service Organizations, we were able to deliver generations of toxic-exposed veterans in this room and beyond the health care and benefits they were promised with the PACT Act,” said Tester. “In Montana alone, nearly 3,000 PACT Act-related claims have been filed, and more than 1,400 veterans across the Treasure State have enrolled in VA health care as a result. Delivering thousands of veterans their new health care and benefits is no easy task, but together we’re making sure VA holds up its end of the bargain to every veteran it serves.”
During the roundtable, veterans discussed their experiences applying for PACT Act-related health care and benefits, VA’s outreach efforts, and ways to simplify access to VA websites.
As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester fought tirelessly for years alongside Montana veterans to deliver generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned care and benefits under the PACT Act. Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military service, this law provides health care for Post-9/11 combat veterans, creates a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service connection related to toxic exposure, expands VA’s list of service presumptions, and improves resources to support claims processing.
Since being signed into law last August, VA has received more than 627,000 PACT Act-related claims, including more than 2,700 in Montana.