DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Local veterans health care officials are encouraging veterans to sign up now for benefits they could be eligible for through the PACT Act.

Durham Veteran Affairs Health Care System officials, along with Congresswoman Deborah Ross, took part in a roundtable discussion Monday, discussing the importance of the law, which provides health care and benefits to those who were exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.

Parnell Thompson signed up, saying his exposure to toxic elements left him with health problems.

“I’ve had diabetes, 5 different cancers in my system,” Thompson said.

Durham V.A. officials tell CBS 17 they’re doing their best to make sure veterans know about these benefits and get signed up.

“We’ve already screened over 47,000 veterans. We will continue our outreach and messaging about toxic exposure and toxic exposure screening,” said Dr. Alyshia Smith, Durham VA executive director.

Veterans must begin their application process by August 9th if they want to receive benefits backdated to August of last year, giving them the full range of benefits.

To sign up or learn more, click here.