Note: The following information was sent directly from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to the veteran community regarding complications that have arisen recently with administering PACT Act compensation. As a service to those on our distribution list, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services is relaying this important message. If you have further questions about claims for PACT Act, you can call the VA Benefits Hotline at (800) 827-1000.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — Due to the extremely high volume of submissions, some veterans and survivors are receiving error messages when submitting their “intent to file” PACT Act claims. As of 10:30 pm (Aug. 8, 2023), this has impacted about 18% of individuals who submitted their intents to file.

Despite these messages, every veteran or survivor who received an error message on Aug. 8 while applying for PACT Act benefits can consider their intent to file complete. We are working to contact these individuals to confirm directly to them that their intent to file will be honored and their effective date protected.

While we take steps to resolve this issue, we are putting an emergency banner on the VA website to reassure veterans and survivors that their intent to file will be honored. We are also changing the intent to file error message (below) to confirm that, despite the error message, the intent to file has been saved.

While we work to resolve these technical difficulties, we continue to encourage veterans and survivors to file their PACT Act claims — or submit their intent to file — now at VA.gov/PACT. Veterans who do so on or before Aug. 9, 2023, may be eligible to receive benefits backdated to Aug. 10, 2022. Please know that VA.gov/PACT is not down, and we continue to collect intent to file submissions despite the outgoing error messages.

Additionally, we have experienced an extremely high call volume on 1-800-MyVA411. Wait times for these calls, which are normally 10-30 seconds, have reached 10-15 minutes at times throughout the day. We are taking immediate steps to minimize these wait times for veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

We at VA are working to resolve this problem immediately, and we will make sure that no veteran or survivor misses out on their earned benefits because of these technical difficulties.

— Intent to File Error Message —

Due to the high volume of submissions we are receiving, you can’t continue with this claim form at this time – but we have received your intent to file and saved your effective date for benefits.

Here’s what this means for you:
• You have 1 year from today (Aug. 8, 2023) to complete your claim.
• If we determine that you’re eligible for disability compensation, we’ll backdate your benefits to today (Aug. 8, 2023) as your claim effective date.
• If you’re filing a claim based on the PACT Act, you may still be eligible to receive benefits backdated to Aug. 10, 2022.

Note: If you come back to this form in the next few days and continue to get this message, don’t worry. Your intent to file date is set for today (Aug. 8, 2023).