Many of us have noticed the recent influx of advertisements and solicitations from companies aggressively seeking to legally represent veterans in filing a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claim for presumptive conditions authorized by the Honoring our PACT Act. Veterans, be aware, that these companies might be seeking a portion of your VA benefits.

Last August, the PACT Act was signed into law thanks to the groundbreaking advocacy efforts of DAV. Among its many impactful provisions, the PACT Act will reduce bureaucratic obstacles for an estimated 3.5 million veterans who seek VA benefits due to burn pit exposures during the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hostile locations.

The law adds nearly two dozen presumptive conditions related to burn pit exposure, meaning veterans who served in overseas locations with active burn pits no longer have to prove their exposure or establish direct service connection if diagnosed with ailments listed in the law that are known to cause such conditions.

While this legislation is a monumental victory for veterans, it opens the opportunity for fraud. The VA has already received multiple reports of unaccredited law firms or companies targeting veterans to offer their services to file disability claims for presumptive conditions. These organizations approach veterans and ask for a fee as high as 40% of the veteran’s retroactive payment and 40% of their first year of VA disability payments.

To avoid being a target of fraud, be cautious of law firms or companies that use frequent communications and try to establish a sense of urgency, and for-profit companies that use VA within their name or media advertisements that state they want to provide representation for a PACT Act claim. Entities that engage in this type of solicitation and marketing practices have a financial incentive that indicate they will charge a veteran a fee for representation.

DAV benefits advocates will never ask for a fee and are experts in providing the latest information on veterans benefits, including the most recent updates from the PACT Act. DAV departments and chapters also have additional capacity with volunteer service officers ready to provide claims assistance as well.

DAV benefits advocates at all levels provide best-in-class service, free of charge and are ready to help file a VA disability claim. They will also be there through the entire process, because no one should have to navigate the VA bureaucracy alone.

DAV remains committed to fighting for veterans of all eras. This includes those who are now being honored for their heroism through this expansion of veteran disability benefits related to toxic and environmental exposures.

For more information on how to contact your local DAV service office, please visit