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Gillibrand urges veterans to claim health benefits under new law

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  • Staff Report 

As Veterans Day approaches, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on U.S. veterans who were exposed to burn pits and Agent Orange during their service to apply for deserved health benefits.


These benefits are part of the Honoring Our Pact Act, designed to expand healthcare for veterans who have suffered from exposure to toxic substances. Under the act, conditions related to burn pit exposure are considered presumptively service-connected, removing the burden of proof from veterans.

Senator Gillibrand emphasized the wide gap in the reach of this act, noting that out of an estimated 3.5 million veterans eligible, only 500,000 have taken steps to apply. She stressed the importance of increasing awareness, particularly in New York, where many veterans may not realize they qualify for these benefits.

Officials have identified over 26,000 New Yorkers who have already filed claims, but they assert that there are thousands more who could be benefiting from the act’s provisions. Veterans seeking more information on these benefits and how to apply are encouraged to reach out for the resources made available.



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