U.S. veterans who used the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune cannot sue the government for compensation. If the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 passes, people who meet specific criteria will be able to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits.
Under this law, the people impacted would have two years from when the government enacts the statute to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. In addition, some veterans and their family members who meet specific criteria might qualify for health care or compensation benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Who Qualifies for Disability Benefits Related to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Veterans, members of the reserve, and members of the national guard may qualify for disability benefits through the VA. They must have been at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina. They must have been there for more than thirty days between 1953 and 1987. There is a specific list of eight conditions. If you have at least one, you may be eligible for health care and compensation payments.
Per the VA, the eight conditions are:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
In addition, family members who lived at Camp Lejeune may qualify for help with health care costs from certain conditions. The VA may pay them back for the expenses from certain diseases. Conditions include things like female infertility, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Learn more: What are the health risks of Camp Lejeune water contamination?
What do I Need to Do to Get Disability Benefits from the VA?
The VA has an application process for veterans and their families to get disability benefits if they used or were around the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. You must show proof of your medical condition and that you lived at one of the two specified locations during the water contamination.
Similarly, family members need to prove they lived at one of the impacted locations. They also will need to document their medical condition, including when they received a diagnosis and what treatment they have received.
Consulting with an attorney can be beneficial when applying for benefits through the VA for Camp Lejeune contamination claims. The right legal help can help you know which benefits you could claim and understand the benefits process.
How does the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 Change the Situation?
North Carolina’s laws bar people from filing this kind of lawsuit after a specific period has passed. At this point, because so many years have passed, people who suffered exposure to Camp Lejeune’s dangerous toxins cannot sue the government for financial compensation.
However, Congress recently introduced a bill that would override these restrictions: the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. The House of Representatives passed the bill in March 2022. If it becomes law, veterans and others impacted by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune would be able to file lawsuits against the government for compensation.
Two Years to File a Claim
Under the bill, those impacted would have to go through the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for any lawsuits they file. From the date the law goes into effect, veterans would have two years to file their lawsuits. Those who file legal action will need to show proof of the harm the contaminated water caused.
Similar to getting benefits through the VA, individuals would need to prove their exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune for 30 cumulative days or more between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, per the VA. The law would even apply to people exposed in utero during the specified time frame.
Benefits of Consulting with an Attorney on a Camp Lejeune Case
Sometimes getting disability benefits through the VA can be challenging to follow, so it can be helpful to get appropriate legal advice. An attorney from our firm can go over your options with you or a loved one affected by the tainted water at Camp Lejeune. We can also review your current situation and possibly help you seek benefits through the VA.
If the US government passes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, you will likely need to hire a lawyer to help you file a lawsuit. An attorney with our firm can help walk you through the process and paperwork and act as your legal representation in your case. They would help you gather the appropriate evidence and work with you to get you the compensation you deserve.
Get a free Consultation with us Today
The attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, understand that getting benefits related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune can be complex and confusing. We can answer your questions and explain applicable deadlines, timelines, and more as they apply to your case.
We do not charge you for our services unless we recover compensation for you. We are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today.