Camp Lejeune, a military base in North Carolina, experienced water contamination between 1953 and 1987, exposing as many as one million military and civilian staff and their families to hazardous chemicals. Those affected may be eligible for compensation if they meet certain criteria, including being diagnosed with specific injuries or conditions linked to the contaminated water. This article provides information on the water contamination issue, the lawsuits surrounding it, the process of applying for benefits, and available resources for assistance.
Camp Lejeune, located in North Carolina, is a prominent military base operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. Over the years, it has played a crucial role in training and supporting our armed forces. However, beneath its surface lies an unfortunate chapter that affected countless lives – water contamination.
Between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, Camp Lejeune’s drinking water was contaminated with hazardous chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This contamination put individuals living or working at the base at risk of serious health consequences.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide comprehensive information about Camp Lejeune and shed light on the lawsuits surrounding this tragic incident. We aim to raise awareness among those who may have been exposed to contaminated water during their time at Camp Lejeune so they can understand their rights for potential compensation if they meet certain criteria set by law.
In subsequent sections of this article we will delve into details regarding the extent of contamination and associated health risks faced by residents within camp premises over several decades.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune, a military base located in North Carolina, faced a significant water contamination issue between 1953 and 1987. During this period, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with hazardous chemicals that posed serious health risks to those who were exposed.
The contaminants found in the drinking water included volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These chemicals are known to be toxic and have been linked to various adverse health effects.
Exposure to these hazardous substances through ingestion of contaminated water or inhalation of vapors during activities like showering or bathing put individuals living or working at Camp Lejeune at risk for developing severe health conditions.
Research has shown that exposure to the contaminated drinking water may lead to an increased incidence of several diseases including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Kidney cancer
- Leukemias (including myelodysplastic syndromes)
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Kidney 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
These potential consequences highlight the seriousness of the situation faced by as many as one million military personnel along with civilian staff members and their families who might have been exposed over decades while residing on or being employed within U.S Marine Corps Base – Camp Lejeune.
It is important for anyone affected by this contamination incident to understand their rights regarding compensation if they meet certain criteria set forth under the law. Victims must have been diagnosed with one of the specified injuries or conditions after exposure at Camp Lejeune to be eligible for compensation. These include various types of cancer, serious medical conditions, and birth defects.
The discovery of this water contamination issue has led to legal action being taken against those responsible for allowing such hazardous substances into the drinking water supply. The PACT Act (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) allows individuals who lived, worked, or were exposed at Camp Lejeune during the specified period to file claims seeking appropriate relief for harm caused by their exposure.
It is crucial that affected individuals understand their rights and seek proper assistance in filing a claim if they believe they may qualify under these circumstances.
Lawsuits and Compensation
Individuals who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may be eligible for compensation if they meet certain criteria set by law. The following are some key points regarding lawsuits and compensation related to the water contamination issue:
To file a claim for compensation, individuals must have been diagnosed with one of the specific injuries or conditions that have been linked to exposure at Camp Lejeune. These include but are not limited to Parkinson’s disease, kidney cancer, leukemias (all types), liver cancer, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma.
PACT Act – Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022:
The PACT Act was enacted in order to provide appropriate relief for harm caused by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. It allows individuals who lived or worked on base for at least 30 days between specified dates or whose mothers lived/worked/exposed while pregnant there during those timespansto file claims under this act. It is important note that filing a claim under this act does not affect eligibility for VA benefits.
In order apply for free claim review and potentially receive compensation, it is necessary to gather relevant documentation such as medical records showing diagnosis of one or more qualifying injuries/conditions, and military records showing service at Camp LeJeune for duration required by law. The process can be done online, via mail, in person with trained professionals who assist with filing claims. Additionally, Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are available to provide assistance throughout the application process.
VA Benefits Eligibility:
Filing a lawsuit is not necessary to receive VA benefits related to Camp Lejeune situation. VA provides disability compensation payments as well as high-quality healthcare services for those eligible. Veterans, reservists, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days between the specified dates and have a diagnosis of one or more presumptive conditions are eligible for disability compensation payments. These presumptive conditions include adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease.
It is important to note that commercials or advertisements from lawyers or law firms claiming to help individuals get Camp Lejeune benefits are not connected with the VA. The VA creates public service announcements about its benefits and does not sell products or ask for payment in relation to benefits assistance.
For more information on lawsuits and compensation related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you can visit our website military-forces.net as well as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website. Additionally, the National Academies’ report on Camp Lejeune provides further insight into this issue.
Applying for Benefits
If you or a loved one were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with any of the qualifying injuries or conditions, you may be eligible for compensation. Here is an overview of the process for applying for disability compensation and health care benefits:
1. Determine Eligibility:
- Check if your diagnosis falls under one of the listed injuries or conditions that qualify for compensation.
- Ensure that you meet the criteria set by law, such as having lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
2. Gather Documentation:
- Collect all relevant military records showing your service at Camp Lejeune during the specified dates.
- Obtain medical records confirming your diagnosis related to exposure to contaminated water.
3. File a Claim Online, By Mail, In Person, Or With Assistance:
You can choose from multiple options when filing a claim:
- Online: Visit official website where detailed instructions are provided on how to submit an online application conveniently.
- By Mail: Download VA Form XYZ from official website, fill it out accurately using black ink, and mail it along with copies of required documents mentioned above in Step 2 to Department Of Veterans Affairs Claims Intake Center P.O Box XXXX Janesville WI YYYY-ZZZZ.
- In Person: Schedule an appointment with your nearest regional VA office through their official website (VA Regional Office Locator). Bring all necessary documentation mentioned earlier in step two while visiting them.
4. Apply For Family Members Who Lived At Camp LeJeune:
Family members who resided at Camp Lejeune during this period may also be eligible for certain benefits based on specific conditions they developed due to exposure. For example, bladder cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, miscarriage, etc. They must be a family member of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River and must have lived on the base for at least 30 days between the specified dates. They can apply for benefits related to these conditions by following similar steps mentioned above.
It is important to note that you do not need to hire a lawyer or file a lawsuit in order to receive VA benefits related to Camp Lejeune. Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are available to provide assistance with filing claims, ensuring all necessary documentation is included, and guiding you through the process.
By taking advantage of these resources and applying for compensation, eligible individuals can access much-needed support and care as they navigate their health challenges resulting from exposure at Camp Lejeune.
Assistance and Resources
If you or a loved one have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, there are resources available to help you navigate through the process of filing claims for VA benefits. Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) can provide valuable assistance in this regard. These trained professionals specialize in helping veterans and their families access the benefits they deserve.
It is important to note that hiring lawyers or law firms claiming to assist with Camp Lejeune benefits may not be necessary. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides comprehensive support services without requiring legal representation. Be cautious when approached by individuals offering legal aid related to your claim as they are not connected with the VA.
For additional information about Camp Lejeune’s water contamination issue, it is recommended that you visit reputable sources such as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website or read reports from National Academies on Camp Lejeune specifically. These resources offer detailed insights into various aspects surrounding this matter, including health risks associated with exposure and steps towards seeking compensation if eligible.
Remember, understanding your rights and accessing appropriate assistance will ensure a smoother journey throughout this challenging time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is Camp Lejeune and why is it significant?
A1: Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base located in North Carolina. It serves as one of the largest military installations on the East Coast, providing training facilities for Marines and supporting various operations. The base has played a crucial role in national defense throughout its history.
Q2: What was the water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune?
A2: Between August 1953 and December 1987, drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with hazardous chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These contaminants posed serious health risks to those who were exposed to them through consumption or other means.
Q3: Who may have been affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune?
A3: As many as one million military personnel, civilian staff members, and their families living on-base or working at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune may have been exposed to this contaminated drinking water during that period.
Q4: What are some of the potential health consequences associated with exposure to contaminated water from Camp Lejeune’s water supply?
A4: The long-term effects can be severe; individuals who were exposed may experience conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, kidney cancer, leukemia, liver cancer, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, kidney disease, systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, cardiac birth defects, esophageal cancer, male breast cancer, lung cancer, miscarriage, hepatic steatosis, female infertility, neurobehavioral effects, non-cardiac birth defects, 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, or any other serious medical condition or injury not listed above.
Q5: How can individuals apply for compensation if they were affected by the water contamination?
A5: To be eligible for compensation, individuals must meet certain criteria set by law. They need to have been diagnosed with one of the specified injuries or conditions mentioned earlier as a result of their exposure at Camp Lejeune. The PACT Act (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) allows those who qualify to file claims and seek appropriate relief without affecting their eligibility for VA benefits.
Q6: Do family members living on-base also qualify for benefits related to the water contamination issue?
A6: Yes, family members who lived at Camp Lejeune may also be eligible for benefits. They must be a family member of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune and lived on the base for at least 30 days between the specified dates. Family members can apply for benefits related to certain conditions, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, or miscarriage.
These are just some frequently asked questions regarding Camp Lejeune and its water contamination issue. If you have any further inquiries or concerns about this topic, we recommend visiting official sources such as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website or consulting Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) who specialize in assisting veterans with filing claims.