You’ve probably heard about the nationwide lawsuit helping service members and their families recover compensation for injuries caused by water contamination at Camp Lejeune. If you or your family were injured by the water at Camp Lejeune, recent laws provide the opportunity to file a claim against the government to request payment for your losses.
But did you also know that under some circumstances, you also may be eligible for Camp Lejeune VA benefits? Specifically, if you were a service member or family member of a military member who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 for at least 30 days, you might be eligible to receive Veterans Administration (VA) benefits for the illnesses caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination.
The skilled Camp Lejeune lawyers at Lawsuit Legal News are dedicated to providing the latest information about all of the potential benefits you may receive. We can explain your specific legal rights during a free consultation and help you make the best decisions about your future.
What Camp Lejeune VA Benefits or Other Compensation Can I Request for My Illness?
To learn whether you can receive VA disability payments for medical conditions you believe were caused by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune you need to speak with an experienced VA benefits lawyer. Every case is different, with unique conditions and personal circumstances. Also, some illnesses are easier to prove than others.
In addition, if you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit against the government for your water contamination-related concerns, take a look at our Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit page for more information. Overall, to fully understand your right to compensation, reach out to the team of legal professionals at Lawsuit Legal News today.
How Do I Request Camp Lejeune VA Benefits?
As a military member, you may have the right to receive VA benefits for medical conditions and disability under certain circumstances. The VA acknowledges certain illnesses as service-connected for disability benefit determination while some conditions are considered service-connected for medical expense payment only.
Filing a VA benefits claim can be complicated and frustrating. You must present all relevant medical records and you must have the illness or disease at the time of your request. For a Camp Lejeune benefits claim, you will also need to provide your military records showing you served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the timeframe of August 1953 through December 1987. Lastly, you must have been honorably discharged from your service if you are no longer actively serving.
What Elements are Required to Receive VA Disability Benefits for Camp Lejeune Illnesses?
You must establish certain facts before you will receive disability benefits for the financial losses and damages you experienced as a result of being exposed to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The basic elements for a Camp Lejeune VA benefits claim include the following:
- You served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River for at least 30 days (cumulatively, not necessarily consecutively) during the timeframe from August 1, 1953 until December 31, 1987,
- You were not dishonorable discharged, AND
- You have been diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed on the VA’s list of presumptive conditions.
Which Illnesses are Included on the VA’s Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Presumptive Conditions List?
The VA has decided that certain diseases should be considered presumptive conditions for purposes of Camp Lejeune benefits claims. As a result, any Veteran who suffers from these illnesses does not have to provide evidence that their illness was caused by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune to receive VA disability benefits.
Instead, if you have any of the presumed conditions, you will only have to prove that you were stationed at Camp Lejeune sometime between August 1953 through December 1987 for at least 30 days. The eight Camp Lejeune presumptive conditions are:
- Multiple myeloma
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Adult leukemia
- Parkinson's disease
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
Other Health Conditions Have Also Been Linked to the Toxic Water
Service members and their families can also pursue benefits if they suffer other conditions after being exposed to the contaminated water. Unfortunately, the conditions listed below do not qualify for presumptive disability compensation. Instead, if you have been diagnosed with these medical conditions and can show that your condition was caused by the toxic water, you can also request VA benefits. The list of non-presumptive health issues include:
- Female infertility
- Breast cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Esophageal cancer
- Hepatic steatosis
- Renal toxicity
- Lung cancer
If you incurred expenses related to any of the health conditions on this list, and you can show that your time at Camp Lejeune during the required window of time caused your condition, you can request reimbursement for the money you paid for medical treatment that was not covered by insurance. It can be challenging to determine if you have a viable Camp Lejeune VA benefits claim. Partner with an experienced Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits attorney who is familiar with the complexities of these cases.
If You are Receiving Camp Lejeune VA Benefits You Might Also Seek Damages Through a Civil Lawsuit
Service members and their families who receive VA benefit payments for Camp Lejeune-related conditions may also be able to seek additional compensation according to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Under the law, you cannot receive compensation for losses that have already been paid. However, you can request payment of other legal damages that have not been paid. These legal damages may include unpaid or unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering or emotional distress relating to your illness.
It Can Be Challenging to Recover Compensation From the VA for Illnesses Related to Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
Filing a disability claim with the VA is not easy. The VA has several options to deny your claim. For example, regulators created the list of Camp Lejeune presumptive diseases. The VA is not required to modify the list for other diseases that might be successfully linked to exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Also, although the VA “recognizes” 15 presumptive Camp Lejeune diseases, it only officially includes eight of them on the list. This is an obvious problem for people who have been diagnosed with one of the other diseases that is not included on the VA's presumptive disease list.
Breaking News: How Does the Government’s Elective Settlement Option Affect Camp Lejeune VA Benefits?
If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and subsequently developed one of the illnesses caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination exposure, you may be receiving disability benefits from the VA. If you also joined the Camp Lejeune multidistrict litigation (MDL) to recover additional compensation, you now have another financial option.
Camp Lejeune victims who are part of the nationwide MDL now qualify for the newly introduced Elective Option. This settlement schedule was proposed by the government in early September 2023 in an effort to resolve a large chuck of the several thousand Camp Lejeune claims currently pending. For more information about the proposed settlement amounts, be sure to see the recent updates on the Lawsuit Legal News Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Update post.
We are pleased to report that if you accept the Elective Option settlement, those funds will not interfere with your VA benefits, your rights will not be restricted or reduced, and you will not be disqualified from receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For Help With Camp Lejeune VA Benefits, Turn to Lawsuit Legal News
Applying for Camp Lejeune VA benefits can be complicated. Facing medical conditions as a result of water contamination at Camp Lejeune can be devastating. Filing a civil lawsuit against the government can be intimidating. However, when you work with the dedicated legal team at Lawsuit Legal News, we can simplify matters and help you focus on what matters most—your treatment and your future.