June 12, 2023 – In partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the El Paso County Veteran Services Division has assisted hundreds of local veterans in receiving care and filing claims as part of the recently announced PACT Act Stand Down Program.

Officially known as the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, the PACT Act of 2022 expands VA health care eligibility and benefits for veterans with toxic exposure from the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras. It covers many existing and new presumptive conditions stemming from Agent Orange, burn pits, and other toxic exposures.

El Paso County Division of Veteran Services has implemented the PACT Act Stand Down Program to provide new and streamlined services to the veteran community. The Program designates specific “claims clinics” to serve veterans at the El Paso County Veterans Office. During the clinics, the Veteran Health Administration assists County staff, providing medical providers who perform Toxic Health Screenings for veterans who served in PACT Act presumptive locations. These veterans can also enroll in VA Healthcare if not previously enrolled.

For April and May, the Program served 131 El Paso County Veterans. In addition, with the assistance of VA claims representatives, 88 Veterans sought help and guidance regarding filing claims. Additionally, toxic exposure screenings were completed for 94 Veterans. Since implementation, the Program has assisted over 425 veterans, resulting in 171 PACT Act claims filed.

The next clinic will be held at the El Paso County Veteran Service Office on Friday, June 16, 2023, which will include two sessions, the first at 9:00 a.m. and the second at 1:00 p.m. Another clinic will be held on July 21, 2023. All clinics will be held at the El Paso County Veteran Service Office at 5850 Championship View, Suite 130, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80922. Availability is limited, and pre-registration is requested. To register and for more information, contact the El Paso County Veteran Service Office at 719.520.7750 or vet@elpasoco.com.