August 09, 2023

Ranking Member Takano’s Statement on VA’s PACT Act Website Technical Difficulties

Press Contact

Libby Carlson

RIVERSIDE, CA – House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) released the following statement after reports of technical difficulties with Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) PACT Act benefits application website just hours before the deadline to apply for backdated benefits: 

“My staff has been briefed by VA about the small number of veterans who received an error message or experienced a system time-out while attempting to submit a PACT Act benefit claim. I want to reassure those who experienced this error that VA has confirmed that their information has been captured, and their claim or intent to file will be considered as meeting the deadline. Additionally, VA will be proactively contacting them to inform them of their submission status. I will ensure that VA makes every effort to over-communicate with veterans so they don’t lose a year’s worth of benefits because of VA’s IT issue.  

However, it cannot be minimized how disruptions like this can be stressful for veterans and their survivors. I urge VA to conduct the necessary after actions to find out what went wrong. While it is great news that thousands of veterans are filing for their PACT Act benefits ahead of the deadline, it is disappointing that VA had yet another IT problem that has confused and frustrated veterans. This level of interest in PACT benefits should have been anticipated. VA must use IT funding provided by the PACT Act to ensure that these types of incidents don’t continue to happen.

As veterans continue to file for benefits in record numbers, I want them to have confidence in the process. The volume of claims filed only further demonstrates the need for the PACT Act and what it means to veterans. 

I thank the dedicated VA employees at call centers across the country for fielding unprecedented levels of calls and assisting thousands of veterans in applying for the benefits they have earned.”