The Camp Lejeune water contamination issue refers to the contamination of the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987. As many as one million military and civilian staff and their families may have been exposed to the contaminated water, leading to serious health consequences. Those affected may be eligible for compensation if they meet certain criteria, including a diagnosis of specific injuries or conditions associated with the contamination.
Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps Base located in North Carolina, was the site of a significant water contamination issue that occurred between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. During this time period, as many as one million military personnel and civilian staff members along with their families may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water.
The contamination at Camp Lejeune resulted from various chemicals found in the water supply including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene and other hazardous substances originating from dry cleaning waste and leaking underground fuel storage tanks.
Those who were living or working on the base during this period faced serious health risks due to exposure to these contaminants. The potential consequences include an increased risk for developing several types of cancers like kidney cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, and leukemia; neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease; reproductive issues like miscarriage, female infertility, and birth defects among others; liver diseases; lung conditions, etc. The long-term effects can be devastating for individuals affected by this environmental hazard.
It is estimated that up to one million people – both military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune and their family members – could have potentially been impacted by the contaminated drinking water over those decades. This has led to numerous lawsuits against responsible parties seeking compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering caused due to negligence.
Eligibility for Compensation
The Camp Lejeune water contamination has had devastating effects on the health of those who were exposed to the contaminated drinking water. If you or a loved one lived or worked at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, you may be eligible for compensation if certain criteria are met.
Qualifying Injuries and Conditions
To qualify for compensation related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue, individuals must have been diagnosed with one of the following injuries after exposure at Camp LeJeune:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Kidney cancer
- Various types of leukemias (including myelodysplastic syndromes)
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease)
- Systemic sclerosis / scleroderma
- Cardiac birth defects
- Esophageal Cancer
- Male breast cancer
- Lung Cancer (if non-smoker)
- Hepatic Steatosis (Fatty Liver Disease)
- Female infertility
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-cardiac birth defects (eye defects, oral clefts, neural tube defects etc.)
- Female breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Ovarian cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Brain cancer
- Liver cirrhosis
- Soft Tissue Cancer
- Hypersensitivity Skin Disorder
- Aplastic anemia
Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed with another injury not listed above, such as any type of serious medical condition or injury that is believed to be caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you might still be eligible under alternative criteria set forth in law. However, please note that lead does not provide legal representation for this matter.
If you meet the criteria and have been diagnosed with one of these injuries or conditions, you may be eligible to receive compensation. It is crucial that you take action as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected and that justice is served.
Please note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee automatic compensation. The process involves filing a claim and providing supporting documentation such as military records showing service at Camp Lejeune during the specified period, along with medical records confirming diagnosis of one of the qualifying injuries or conditions.
Don’t wait any longer – if you believe you qualify for compensation related to exposure at Camp Lejeune, it’s important to seek legal advice from professionals who specialize in handling cases like yours. They can guide through every step of the claims process while fighting tirelessly on your behalf.
How to Apply for Compensation
If you or a loved one were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying injuries or conditions, you may be eligible for compensation. Here is an overview of how to apply:
1. Understand the Process:
To begin your application process, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the steps involved in applying for compensation. This will help ensure that you provide all necessary information and documentation.
2. Choose Your Method of Application:
There are several methods available for submitting your claim:
- Online: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides an online portal where individuals can submit their claims electronically.
- Mail: You can also choose to mail your completed application form along with supporting documents directly to the VA.
- In Person: If preferred, applicants can visit their local VA office in person and receive assistance from trained professionals who specialize in handling these types of claims.
- Professional Help: Some individuals find it helpful to seek guidance from legal professionals experienced in dealing with military-related compensation cases.
3. Gather Required Documentation:
When applying for compensation related to Camp Lejeune water contamination, certain documents must accompany your claim:
a) Military Records – Provide evidence showing that you served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River during any period between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987.
b) Medical Records – Include medical reports confirming diagnosis(es) associated with exposure such as Parkinson’s disease; kidney cancer; liver cancer; bladder cancer; non-Hodgkin lymphoma among others listed earlier on this website).
It is crucially important that all required records are included when submitting your claim as incomplete applications may result in delays or denial.
4. Submitting Your Claim
Once you have gathered all necessary documentation according to eligibility criteria mentioned above, you’re ready to submit your claim. You can follow the instructions provided by the VA for the specific method you’ve chosen.
Remember, it is essential to keep copies of all documents submitted for your records. This will help you track the progress of your claim and provide any additional information if requested by the VA.
Applying for compensation can be a complex process, but with careful attention to detail and proper documentation, you increase your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.
VA Health Care Benefits
The Camp Lejeune water contamination has had devastating health effects on those who were exposed to the contaminated drinking water. To provide support and care for these individuals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers specific health care benefits.
Health Conditions Covered:
- The VA provides coverage for a range of medical conditions that have been linked to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
- These covered conditions include bladder cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia (including myelodysplastic syndromes), liver cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, kidney disease, end-stage renal disease, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, cardiac birth defects, and many more listed in our eligibility criteria section.
Exemption from Copayments:
If you have one of the covered health conditions related to your time spent at Camp Lejeune during this period, you won’t need to pay any copayment fees when receiving treatment specifically addressing these illnesses. This means that all necessary treatments will be provided without additional financial burden.
It is important if you believe you qualify under either category, to apply as soon as possible so we can help determine your eligibility status. The application process requires providing military records showing service connection along with relevant medical documentation confirming diagnosis. If approved, the comprehensive healthcare services offered by VHA would cover both primary & specialty-care needs including mental-healthcare, surgical procedures, rehabilitation therapies, prescription medications, and other medically-necessary interventions.
Please note that it’s crucial not only veterans but also family members affected by the contamination may be eligible for these health care benefits. If you are a family member of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune during this period and have lived there for at least 30 days, you can also apply to receive reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the covered conditions.
It is important that those affected take advantage of these VA Health Care Benefits as they provide comprehensive coverage specifically tailored towards addressing the unique challenges posed by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The VA remains committed in providing support and assistance throughout your healthcare journey.
Family Members’ Eligibility for Benefits
Family members of veterans who lived at Camp Lejeune during the specified time period may also be eligible for health care benefits if they meet certain requirements. To qualify, family members must have been a spouse or child (including stepchildren and adopted children) of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
The key requirement is that the family member must have resided on base with the veteran for at least 30 days during this timeframe. This means that simply being related to a veteran who was stationed there is not enough; actual residency on base is necessary to establish eligibility.
Gather Required Documentation:
- Proof of relationship to the qualifying veteran (e.g., marriage certificate or birth certificates)
- Evidence showing residence on base such as housing records or utility bills
- Any other supporting documents relevant to establishing eligibility
Complete Application Form:
Fill out an application form provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The form will require personal information about both yourself and your qualifying relative.
Submit Your Application:
Submit your completed application along with all required documentation either online through VA’s official website portal dedicated specifically towards claims regarding exposure from contaminated water in Camp Lejeune, by mail using certified mail service so you can track delivery status, or in person visit nearest regional office where trained professionals are available to assist applicants throughout the process.
It’s important to note that approval decisions are made based on individual circumstances and meeting specific criteria set forth by law. If approved, you’ll receive notification detailing any covered conditions applicable and further instructions regarding accessing healthcare services without copayments associated directly linked to those particular condition(s).
For additional assistance navigating through this process, it might be helpful to consult with a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) or reach out to the VA directly for guidance and support.
The PACT Act
The PACT Act, also known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, was established to provide appropriate relief for individuals who lived, worked, or were exposed at Camp Lejeune and suffered harm due to the contaminated water. This act recognizes that those affected by the contamination deserve compensation for their health issues.
Eligibility for Filing a Claim
To be eligible for filing a claim under the PACT Act, individuals must meet certain criteria. They must have lived at Camp Lejeune or been present there while working or being exposed to the contaminated water for at least 30 days between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987. Additionally, the mothers of these individuals may file claims if they resided in Camp Lejeune while pregnant with them during this time period.
It is important to note that filing a claim under this act does not affect an individual’s eligibility for VA benefits related to Camp Lejeune. Veterans can still receive disability compensation and healthcare benefits from VA even if they choose to pursue relief through other legal avenues provided by the PACT Act. The purpose of this act is to ensure that those affected by the Camp Lejeune contamination are able to obtain appropriate compensation for their harm and suffering without impacting their VA benefits eligibility.
Importance of Not Hiring a Lawyer
When it comes to seeking compensation and benefits related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, it is important for individuals to understand that they do not need to hire a lawyer or file a lawsuit. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides assistance and support directly without the need for legal representation.
It is crucial to be aware of commercials from lawyers or law firms claiming that they can help individuals obtain these benefits. These advertisements may create confusion and give the impression that hiring an attorney is necessary in order to receive compensation. However, it’s essential to note that these commercials are not affiliated with the VA.
The process for applying for compensation and accessing health care benefits through the VA does not require legal intervention. Eligible individuals can apply online, by mail, in person at their local VA office, or seek guidance from trained professionals who specialize in assisting veterans with benefit claims.
By avoiding unnecessary involvement with lawyers or lawsuits specifically targeting Camp Lejeune-related cases, applicants can streamline their application process while ensuring direct access to all available resources provided by the VA.
Remember – you have every right as an eligible individual affected by this issue to pursue your rightful entitlements independently through established channels within the VA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue?
A1: The Camp Lejeune water contamination issue refers to the contamination of the drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Industrial solvents and benzene from drycleaning waste and leaking underground fuel storage tanks contaminated the water supply.
Q2: Who may be eligible for compensation related to this issue?
A2: Veterans who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River during that time period are potentially eligible for disability compensation if they have been diagnosed with one or more of eight presumptive conditions associated with exposure to contaminated water. Family members who lived on base during that time may also be eligible under certain criteria.
Q3: What are some examples of presumptive conditions linked to exposure?
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
These are just a few examples; there is an extensive list available which includes various cancers, birth defects, neurological disorders, and other serious medical conditions.
Q4: How can I apply for compensation?
A4: You can file a claim online through VA.gov, by mail using specific forms provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), in person visiting your nearest DVA office. You could even seek help from trained professionals like veterans service organizations (VSOs).
Q5: Do I need legal representation or should I hire a lawyer?
A5: No, you do not require any kind of legal representative nor hiring lawyers as commercials claiming so aren’t affiliated with DVA.
Note: It would always be better to consult with DVA or VSOs for any kind of assistance.