Biden will sign a bill to aid soldiers who were exposed to toxic burn pits

A law that increases health care coverage for American veterans who have been exposed to toxic burn pits was ready for President Biden to sign on Wednesday.

The PACT Act, also known as the Veterans Health Care and Compensation Modernization Act, was signed into law by the president, according to a statement released by the White House.

According to the White House, “sometimes serving in the military can lead to higher health risks for our veterans, and some injuries and illnesses like asthma, cancer, and others might take years to show.”

“These realities can make it challenging for veterans to establish a direct link between their service and injuries resulting from exposure to wartime environments, such as burn pits—a vital step to ensuring they receive the health care they earned,” the study notes.

At the signing ceremony, Biden will be greeted by Danielle Robinson and Brielle Robinson, the wife and child of Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson, for whom the bill is officially named, according to NBC News.

The measure forces the Department of Veterans Affairs to assume certain cancers and respiratory ailments were caused by exposure to fire pits, as well as increase access to care and disability benefits.

According to NBC News, veterans will no longer need to provide evidence that their exposure to toxic burn pits caused their disease in order to receive compensation for their illness.

According to the Associated Press, prior to the measure, nearly 70% of veterans’ claims involving burn pit exposure were rejected for a lack of supporting documentation.

Last week, the legislation was approved on a second vote after Senate Republicans initially stopped it, according to NBC News.

According to NBC News, Republicans finally gave in under pressure from more than 60 veteran organizations and TV presenter Jon Stewart, who had criticized Republicans for obstructing the proposal.

Veterans, their families, and caregivers may submit an application for benefits to the US Department of Veterans Affairs by contacting 1-800-MyVA411 or submitting a claim online at the VA’s website.