(WHNT) — Some U.S. combat veterans affected by toxic exposure have another deadline to pay attention to when it comes to getting health care benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

It’s part of the PACT Act, which went into effect in 2022, expanding VA health care and benefits for toxic exposure for veterans.

The next deadline is September 30, 2023, but it is only for some veterans who deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other combat zones but never enrolled in VA health care.

Combat veterans who qualify include those who never enrolled in VA health care and left active duty between September 11, 2001 and October 1, 2013.

The special enrollment period allows these veterans to enroll directly in VA health care without having to apply for VA benefits first.

One thing to note: the VA says even if you don’t need the care now, you may need it in the future.

They say that once you’re in, you have access for life, so they say you should go ahead and apply.

To apply, go to VA.gov/PACT or call 1-800-MYVA411.

The VA said that since the PACT Act was signed, more than 344,000 veterans have enrolled in VA health care.

More than 4.2 million have been screened for toxic exposures.

For more information on the deadline visit the VA’s website here.