Qualifying service members and veterans who lived at Camp Lejeune from August 1st, 1953 through December 31st, 1987 are now able to more easily obtain compensation if they developed a disease due to contaminated drinking water. The water at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps Base Camp located in North Carolina, was discovered to be contaminated with chemicals known to cause certain cancers, myelodysplastic syndromes, and Parkinson’s disease. A recently established rule in the Federal Register stated that certain National Guard members, former reservists, and veterans affected by the water are eligible for compensation.
Due to this new rule, The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates they will receive more than $2.2 billion in claims over the next five years from those exposed to the contaminated water. Although the toxicity of the water at Camp Lejeune was confirmed in the 1980s, this regulation resulting in a limited presumptive grant of benefits only just went into effect in March of this year. The veterans who were affected have been receiving some benefits like health care for certain conditions, but under the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law, they will now be able to more easily receive disability compensation.
The Environmental Protection Agency named Camp Lejeune a toxic Superfund site in 1989 after finding evidence of benzene, trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and other petroleum pollutants in the water. These dangerous chemicals contaminated the groundwater, sediment, soil, and surface water because of improper waste handling and leaking storage tanks. There were roughly 900,000 service members, including active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members, exposed to the toxic water, according to the Navy. They estimate 23,000 of those individuals may qualify for reparation.
Only those who served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 consecutive or nonconsecutive days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, are eligible for presumptive compensation as to certain diagnosed medical conditions. Studies have determined that those who were exposed to the toxic water for a shorter period of time were not in danger of developing the known associated diseases. Additionally, only those veterans and service members who were diagnosed with the diseases properly established to have been caused by the toxic water are entitled to this presumption, resulting in disability compensation.
The Camp Lejeune contaminated water could have caused the development of any of the following diseases:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia or other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
If you or a loved one are already receiving monthly benefits due to one of these 8 diseases, we may be able to get you more of the money you deserve. CALL NOW! 888-612-7001. Our attorneys at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers have a firm understanding of Veterans Disability and personal injury law and we are passionate about fighting for the rights of wounded veterans.
To learn more about the toxic water claims being processed, click here.