This summer we passed the Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, named in honor of Ohioan Heath Robinson. It’s the most comprehensive expansion of benefits for veterans who faced toxic exposure in our country’s history. And we couldn’t have done it without veterans and their families.
I remember Susan Zeier, Heath Robinson’s mother-in-law, coming to us in 2017, and asking our office to help in this fight.
I heard from Ohio veterans like Tim Hauser and Andrea Neutzling who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving their country.
And I held round-tables all around the state where veterans and families shared their stories about why the PACT Act mattered.
It’s thanks to their advocacy, persistence, and insistence that the PACT Act is law today.
At the bill signing, the President announced that all 23 presumptive conditions outlined in this bill would go into effect immediately.
That means no more excuses. No more delays. Veterans have waited long enough.
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.
All Ohio veterans and family members can go to va.gov/pact to find out more about how they can now claim these benefits they earned. Next week the VA will be hosting their PACT Act Week of Action to keep raising awareness about how veterans can access their PACT Act benefits.
I encourage all veterans who were exposed to burn pits to register with the VA so that if they start experiencing symptoms, their benefits kick in automatically.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.