If you or a family member served at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 and have a qualifying diagnosis, you should qualify for disability benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If the VA denied your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, you may be wondering about what to do. An attorney handling these cases can help you appeal the decision.
Also, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on March 3, 2022 that could make it possible for victims to bring a lawsuit against the liable parties, including the U.S. Marine Corps. As of April 2022, this bill is currently in the U.S. Senate. Victims whose disability claims were denied could possibly recover additional compensation in the near future through a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Take Action After a VA Disability Claim Denial
If your VA disability claim was denied, a lawyer familiar with the Camp Lejeune case can handle your appeal. By asking one of our lawyers to fight for your benefits, you are taking a step toward seeking the compensation you need and deserve.
We will gather evidence to help you document that you meet the criteria for benefits, including showing:
- You lived at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for 30 days or more between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
- Your medical records show a diagnosis for one of the presumptive conditions linked to contaminated water exposure.
It could be possible to get VA disability benefits based on a medical condition that the VA has not officially linked to Camp Lejeune, but this will require us to also provide evidence such as medical records and scientific research linking the condition to an in-service exposure or injury.
If You Have One of These Presumptive Illnesses, You Could Qualify for Benefits
If the service member was stationed at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, the VA presumes a service-related injury for several health diagnoses. This presumption also applies to those stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there is evidence of an association between the contaminated water and several diseases and disorders. For service members and family members who lived at Camp Lejeune, the VA presumes a connection with:
- Aplastic anemia
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Lung cancer
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Renal toxicity
Your medical records should show a diagnosis of one of these conditions or another related diagnosis.
So, in theory, it should be straightforward to get approved for VA benefits if you were exposed to contaminants at Camp Lejeune. However, this is not always the way it goes, and you may now be frustrated with a denial.
We can use your relevant medical records, other information from your doctor, your service records, and other documents to show you do meet the criteria for VA disability or healthcare benefits. We can navigate the appeals process on your behalf.
Why Are So Many People Stationed at Camp Lejeune Getting Sick?
During the early 1980s or before, the U.S. Marine Corps discovered on-base and off-base contamination of its water supply by leaking storage containers and dry cleaning chemicals. There were high levels of dangerous contaminants in two water wells that supplied the base. The contaminants include:
- Perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Other chemical compounds
These wells were closed in 1985, but exposure could have occurred at any time between 1953 and 1987. While service members and their families trusted the U.S. Marine Corps to take care of them, they were exposing them to contaminated water through cooking, bathing, washing clothes, and drinking.
Can You Sue for Compensation Related to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
Federal law prevents veterans and their families from suing the U.S. Marine Corps or other government agencies for their actions in this case. However, this could be changing soon. In March 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow thousands of those affected to take legal action in addition to claiming VA disability or healthcare benefits.
As of April 2022, we are watching the U.S. Senate closely to see if they will also pass this legislation and allow those affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination to pursue a financial award for their related expenses and losses.
Speak to a Team Member at Ben Crump Law, PLLC for Free Today
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our attorneys will review your case for free. We can assess your options based on your diagnosis, service records, and more. We will help you fight a denial of disability and health care through the VA. It may become possible to participate in a civil case against the liable parties soon as well. Connect with us today to learn more.