JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Save the date! Veterans with questions about benefits, claims, PACT Act, and more, can get the answers next week in person.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the North Florida / South Georgia Veterans Health System will host a PACT Act VetFest event on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It’s being held at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Kent Campus located at 3939 Roosevelt Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32205.
24/7 VETERANS CRISIS LINE: Call 988 and Press 1
Veterans and families do NOT need to sign up or register for this event ahead of time, but you need to bring the following things if you are not already enrolled with VA:
Copy of your military records if available
Copy of your DD 214
If you are already enrolled with VA, you only need to bring a photo ID.
Onsite services will be available at VetFest to include VA health care enrollment, PACT Act education and toxic exposure screenings, VA claims assistance, women’s health, mental health, whole health, Vet Center and more. ‘
Katie Sperry, VA’s Suicide Prevention Supervisor in Jacksonville, joined The Morning Show to make veterans and their families aware that VetFest was coming up, so they have time to make a plan to be there.
“We welcome all veterans to come and see the different resources at are available,” said Sperry. “We really wanted to gear this event for everything veteran focused.”
“Some things that we will be doing is providing Narcan prescriptions on site for any veteran that would like to have one of those,” Sperry added.
VA personnel from the Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Office and Veterans Health Administration will be at the event.
“This VetFest will be absolutely phenomenal, and we host these events in order to expedite health care for our Veterans who qualify,” said Wende Dottor, Director of the NF/SG Veterans Health System in a statement. “The PACT Act has created a unique opportunity and it is urgent that Veterans apply now that way they can maximize the benefits associated with the special enrollment period. Veterans who meet certain qualifications are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care through the PACT Act.”
PACT ACT FACT SHEET: Combat Veteran Eligibility
Veterans can take advantage of the resources available at VetFest — as the deadline for the special enrollment period is 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30, 2023.
The PACT Act, which stands for Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act, was signed into law in August 2022, expanding VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
Veterans who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care and who were discharged or released between Sept. 11, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2013, are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care through the PACT Act. This special enrollment period gives Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones an opportunity to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for disability compensation benefits.
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