PACT act

The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, more commonly known as the PACT Act, was one of the most significant pieces of legislation in recent years aimed at helping injured and ill veterans access benefits.

Through the PACT Act, veterans who were exposed to toxic chemical sand environments in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and other conflicts could access VA disability benefits if they developed or were diagnosed with any condition on an expanded list of qualifying conditions.

The PACT Act: Successes and Puzzles

By some measures, the PACT Act has been a success in allowing hundreds of thousands of previously ineligible veterans access disability benefits for their illnesses and medical conditions. Well over 500,000 veterans have already submitted successful claims under the PACT Act. 

However, this influx of new claims has revealed an anomaly that the VA is now investigating: Approximately one-third of the claims submitted have resulted in the veteran receiving a zero percent disability rating.

The Meaning of a Zero Percent Rating

Whenever a veteran applies for disability benefits and is found to have a qualifying illness or condition, the VA will assign that condition a disability rating. Ratings range from zero to one hundred in increments of ten and are used to describe the VA’s conclusion as to how disabling the specific condition is for the veteran. The higher the rating, the more disabling the condition.

For example, a veteran whose condition receives a 70 percent disability rating is considered more disabled and less able to hold gainful employment than a veteran with a 20 percent disability rating. Accordingly, the higher your disability rating, the greater the amount of benefits you would receive from the VA.

A zero percent disability rating means that the VA believes the condition is adequately controlled and thus presents no impairment to employment. While you would be eligible to receive some veterans’ benefits, disability compensation is not one of them.

PACT Act Disability Ratings are Appealable 

Just like any other adverse decision on a VA disability claim, a finding that your condition warrants a zero disability rating is appealable. When you receive notification from the VA and disagree with the conclusion that your condition does not limit you in some way, ensure that you speak with a Georgia VA disability lawyer immediately about how best to appeal the decision.

Contact Coskrey Law About Your VA Disability Claim  Today

Call Ryan Coskrey and the Evans, Georgia law firm of Coskrey Law at (708) 303-1802, or contact the firm by e-mail at or online if you have questions about your VA disability claim. Whether your claim has been denied or you did not receive the benefits you believe you deserved, we can review your situation and advise you what to do.

You only have a limited amount of time to appeal without losing benefits, so it is important to reach out to Coskrey Law for assistance as soon as possible.