In 2017, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received over $2 billion to distribute to veterans affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination. Veterans and family members with proof these toxins harmed them can receive a portion of the funds. While there is no guaranteed compensation amount, you could receive up to $3,000 monthly for medical expenses.
Several details of your situation will influence how much compensation you could get for a disability related to Camp Lejeune. A VA benefits attorney can tell you more and help you navigate the process of seeking benefits.
Background on Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Between 1953 and 1987, those living on Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina were exposed to contaminated water. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other contaminants entered the area’s water supply from leaking fuel tanks and a local dry cleaner (PBS NewsHour).
As a result, both service members and their loved ones who resided on these bases could have come into contact with carcinogenic toxins through drinking, cooking, and bathing. Over time, this exposure has resulted in serious illnesses, such as:
- Bladder cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
Who Qualifies for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Disability Benefits?
Active-duty personnel, Reserve, and National Guard members qualify for compensation. In addition, there are three main criteria to qualify for benefits:
- You served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River between August 1953 and December 1987 for a total of at least 30 days.
- You were diagnosed with one or more of the 15 qualifying illnesses listed above, which resulted from water contamination.
- You did not receive a dishonorable discharge upon separation from the U.S. military.
You’ll also need to show documentation of your illness, among other evidence.
Veterans’ family members who lived with them at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River could also get compensation. They will need to show evidence of their relationship with a veteran, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, or adoption papers.
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Veterans?
Treating and living with conditions such as leukemia and Parkinson’s disease can be painful and costly. VA benefits for victims can help veterans address these expenses. VA will pay for out-of-pocket medical costs not covered by any other medical benefits that the veteran or their family member already receives.
Cash payments can reimburse veterans or their family members for out-of-pocket healthcare costs. For instance, you could recover the costs of doctor’s visits, hospitalization, medications, diagnostic testing, surgeries, and more. This could also include medical equipment or assistive devices for your home or vehicle, among other costs.
If you need healthcare services but have not yet sought treatment, you could receive hospital care and other medical treatment from VA at no cost.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive for a Disability from Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Depending on your disability rating, you may be able to seek a higher level of compensation. For example, those with a 100% disability rating could qualify for up to $3,000 per month in benefits.
What Should I Do to Get Compensation?
To get reimbursed for medical costs, you should apply by:
- Submitting an application through VA.gov or getting help from a qualified representative, such as a VA benefits lawyer
- Indicating to VA that you’re seeking benefits for a Camp Lejeune-related illness
- Providing evidence of medical records related to your illness, such as a test result or report from a doctor
- Providing evidence that you served at either Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for the qualifying time period (at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987)
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC, for Help Seeking VA Disability Benefits
If you or a family member has an illness that resulted from water contamination at Camp Lejeune, you could seek compensation. An attorney from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you understand your options and help you seek the benefits you need.
We offer free case reviews at no obligation. Call us today to learn more about how we can work for you.