If you or a loved one had adult Leukemia and served at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune, contamination of the base’s drinking water may have been the cause. If so, you may qualify for disability benefits and compensation for related medical care.
Eligibility for VA benefits regarding Camp Lejeune
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), studies have medically and scientifically proven that contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune cause adult leukemia and other illnesses. Therefore, if you have leukemia and served at the base for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987, you can collect veterans benefits.
You do not have to provide additional proof that your illness is service-related to qualify. Coverage is available to all honorably discharged veterans, reservists, and guardsmen serving on base during the specified time.
When you apply for benefits, include that your disability is because of a presumed Camp Lejeune illness. You will need to supply VA with proof of your service and medical records showing you have leukemia.
Do Dependants Qualify?
If you are the relative of a service member, have leukemia or another qualifying condition, and lived at Camp Lejeune while the water was contaminated, you can receive healthcare benefits. To obtain coverage, you will need to supply VA with the following evidence:
- Proof of your relationship to the veteran, such as a birth certificate, adoption papers, or marriage license
- Proof you lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days from August 1953 to December 1987, including tax forms, utility bills, military orders, or base housing records
- Proof you paid out-of-pocket medical treatment costs related to an illness caused by Camp Lejeune’s water contamination
How Much Can You Receive in Disability Compensation?
If you or your family member qualifies for benefits, VA will reimburse you for healthcare costs related to your illness. In addition, the agency will provide coverage for future treatments.
The amount of compensation you can receive for your disability depends on your disability rating and dependants. According to VA rates for 2022, payments can range from around $150 per month for a veteran with a 10 percent rating and no dependents to nearly $4,000 per month for a veteran with a 100 percent rating and multiple dependents.
How Can You File a Claim?
You can file a claim for adult leukemia related to Camp Lejeune contamination online at VA.gov. You can also ask for assistance from your local VA office or an accredited representative. A lawyer with our firm can guide you through the process, review your application, and help you collect needed documentation.
What if VA Denied Your Application?
We can appeal denied applications. You have three options for an application review, and our attorneys can help you decide the best option for you. We can also assist with filing your appeal and collecting and submitting new evidence, if applicable.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act
Currently, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is working through congress. Proposed in January 2022, the bill will allow those exposed to contamination at Camp Lejeune (including in-utero exposure) or their legal representative to take action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Under the law, exposure victims will be able to pursue “appropriate relief for harm that was caused by exposure to the water.” Once passed, the act will hopefully cut down on wrongfully denied claims connected to Camp Lejeune, speed up the claims process for victims, and rectify the damage done due to previously rejected applications. We can tell you more about how this act may affect you when reviewing your case.
What Caused the Camp Lejeune Contamination?
The Camp Lejeune contamination involved two water wells that the base shut down in 1985. These contaminated wells contained:
- Vinyl chloride
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Other contaminants
These substances can cause adult leukemia and 14 other health conditions that qualify for coverage if you resided at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987. These conditions include:
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Esophageal cancer
Symptoms of Adult Leukemia
Adult leukemia is a severe and potentially fatal illness that can significantly reduce your overall quality of life. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of leukemia include:
- Frequent or severe infections
- Enlarged liver or spleen
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Chills and fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bleeding and bruising
If you experience these symptoms and suffered exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, see a doctor immediately if you have not done so already. You could receive coverage for your treatment.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help You Seek Benefits
If you have adult leukemia or another illness due to contamination at Camp Lejeune, reach out to our team for assistance. We can help you seek the disability benefits and medical compensation you deserve. Call our offices for a free consultation.