Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Veterans Administration extends deadline for Alabama Vets to apply for extra health care


Washington is giving military veterans in Alabama, and nationwide, more time to apply for extra healthcare benefits under the so-called PACT Act. The measure, signed by President Joe Biden one year ago, provides the opportunity of expanded benefits for Vets whose health was harmed by exposure to toxins ranging from burn pits to Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.

The VA announced, in a release…

“…that Veterans and survivors who apply for PACT Act benefits by 11:59PM ET on Monday, August 14, 2023 will be eligible to have their benefits backdated to August 10, 2022 – the day that President Biden signed the PACT Act into law. This is an extension from the original deadline of August 9, 2023. We encourage all Veterans and their survivors to apply – or submit their intent to file --for PACT Act benefits now by visiting

VA has made this decision out of an abundance of caution after experiencing technical difficulties with in recent days. Specifically, due to extremely high demand, some Veterans who have sought to submit their intent to file for PACT Act benefits have received error messages while doing so. Despite these messages, VA has successfully logged every one of these intents to file – meaning that every Veteran or survivor who has received an error message while applying for PACT Act benefits can consider their intent to file complete. We are working to contact these individuals to confirm directly to them that their intent to file will be honored and their effective date protected. Most importantly, no Veteran or survivor will miss out on a single day of benefits due to this issue.

VA has also resolved nearly all of the technical issues with As of 5:00pm, less than one tenth of one percent of attempts to submit an “intent to file” today (August 9) had resulted in an error message. This percentage is down from about 18% on August 8. Additionally, we have had a high volume of calls to VA call centers throughout this week, and we are working to decrease abnormally long call center wait times. We continue to work on these issues and will not rest until they are fully resolved.

Throughout the past day, VA has sent out communications from all channels to reassure Veterans and survivors that they would not miss out on their earned benefits due to this issue. We put an emergency banner on the VA website to tell Veterans and survivors that their intents to file will be honored. We changed the intent to file error message to confirm that, despite the error message, the intent to file has been saved. Finally, we communicated with Veterans directly on social media, via email, and through coordination with Congressional leaders and Veterans Service Organizations. All of this messaging will be updated tonight (details below) to reflect the extended deadline for Veterans and survivors to apply for benefits backdated to August 10, 2022.

We at VA will continue to encourage Veterans and their survivors to immediately file their PACT Act claims — or submit their intents to file — at With the extended deadline, Veterans and survivors who do so by 11:59PM ET on Monday, August 14, 2023 may receive benefits backdated to August 10, 2022.”

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
Related Content
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.