Camp Lejeune vets may get compensation
July 10, 2013 • From the Racine County Veterans Service Office
Veterans who served at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, were potentially exposed to contaminants present in the base water supply prior to 1987.
To ensure fairness and consistency in claims processing, adjudication to Camp Lejeune claims has been centralized at the Louisville, Ky., Regional Office, with tracking measures initiated. The population assigned to Camp Lejeune during the time period 1957-1987 is estimated by the Department of Navy to be 630,000.
A newly enacted law provides health care to veterans and their families who resided at Camp Lejeune during the period stated and have one of 15 specified medical conditions. While the law does not change the eligibility requirements for granting entitlement to compensation, it can be expected to drive an increased volume of claims related to Camp Lejeune, potentially as many as 165,000 new claims. Veterans Affairs continues to decide Camp Lejeune claims on a case-by-case basis based on the factual and medical evidence in each claim and medical and scientific evidence of opinions pertaining to current medical conditions and past presence at Camp Lejeune.
VA will consider disability compensation claims based on exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune on a case-by-case basis. To be eligible:
• You must be a veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
• You must have served at Camp Lejeune during the period of contamination (1957-1985).
• You must have a current disease and a medical opinion that states the disease is a result of exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
The National Academy of Science’s National Research Council identified diseases potentially associated with exposure to the contaminants present in the Camp Lejeune water supply between 1957 and 1987. These diseases include:
• Esophageal cancer
• Lung cancer
• Breast cancer
• Bladder cancer
• Kidney cancer
• Adult leukemia
• Multiple myeloma
• Renal toxicity
• Hepatic steatosis
• Female infertility
• Miscarriage, with exposure during pregnancy
• Neurobehavioral effects
The list of diseases above is not exclusive. Veterans may submit a claim for disability compensation benefits with medical evidence that indicates the disease or disability may be related to the known water contaminants.
For more information about submitting your claim for exposure to contaminated water while assigned to Camp Lejeune you can go to: www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/claims-postservice-exposures-camp_leguene_water.asp or call or visit Racine County Veterans Service Officer Ali Nelson at (262) 638-6667 and 1717 Taylor Ave., Racine.