Understanding Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA Benefits
Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination have been a vital support system for families impacted by the toxic drinking water.
Benefits offered by the VA to eligible veterans include:
- Monthly VA disability payments
- VA health care
However, for many Camp Lejeune water contamination victims, frustrating delays and repeated denials have blocked the support they desperately need and deserve from the VA.
Thankfully, new Camp Lejeune legal options were made available on August 10, 2022, when the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was enacted.
Under the PACT Act, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) opened up a new pathway for veterans to seek compensation through lawsuits. This money is completely separate from the VA and does not affect existing or future Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits.
Find out what compensation you are entitled to right now with a free and simple claim review.
Can I File for VA Benefits for Camp Lejeune Water Exposure?
You can file for Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits if you were exposed to the contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and were diagnosed with certain health conditions.
Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits include disability compensation and health care. To be eligible, you can not have received a dishonorable discharge.
VA Disability Compensation
Disability benefits are provided to veterans who meet the VA’s requirements for service-connected health conditions. Monthly disability compensation amounts depend on your disability rating and dependent status.
There are eight Camp Lejeune presumptive health conditions that automatically qualify for VA disability benefits, including several types of cancer that are presumed to be related to the contaminated water on base.
Below, you can find examples of 2024 VA disability ratings and compensation amounts, which took effect on December 1, 2023.
2024 Veterans Basic Monthly Disability Compensation Rates
|30% Disability Rating
|50% Disability Rating
|100% Disability Rating
|Veteran alone (no dependents)
|Veteran with spouse (no parents or children)*
|Veteran with 1 child only (no spouse or parents)*
|Veteran with 1 child and spouse (no parents)*
|*Various added amounts may apply
|Source: The United States Department of Veterans Affairs
To apply for disability VA benefits for Camp Lejeune water, submit a claim online through the VA website or at a regional VA office.
VA Health Care Benefits
VA health care benefits are designed to cover the medical care cost of the recognized conditions. The VA has acknowledged 15 covered health conditions.
To apply for health care VA benefits for Camp Lejeune water, submit an application online through the VA website or at a VA medical facility.
This coverage is also extended to family members who resided at Camp Lejeune during the specified period.
Can Families Get VA Benefits for Camp Lejeune Water?
Some families can access VA health care benefits. These Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits aim to cover or reimburse health care costs.
Here are the requirements for obtaining VA health care benefits:
- Apply for and receive approval for benefits under current law
- Be a family member (child, spouse, or legal dependent) of a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River in North Carolina
- Have lived (or been in utero) at the specified locations for at least 30 days during the contamination period
Eligible family members may also be able to access certain VA benefits for spouses, dependents, and survivors.
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Health Issues
The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been linked to various health issues among military personnel and their families. While the VA only recognizes 8 conditions as presumptive Camp Lejeune illnesses, you don’t need to have one of them to file a claim under the CLJA.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Presumptive Conditions
Eight conditions are designated by the VA as presumed to be caused by the toxic base water. Having one of these conditions means you automatically qualify to receive certain Camp Lejeune VA benefits.
These are the Camp Lejeune illnesses with a presumptive service connection:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
Other Camp Lejeune Health Issues
In addition to the presumptive conditions, many other illnesses are linked to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. These include multiple forms of cancer, neurological disorders, and female infertility and birth issues.
Here are other conditions linked with the polluted water at Camp Lejeune:
- Birth defects
- Breast cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Heart disease
- Infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Neurological disorders
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Renal toxicity
Financial compensation may be available if you or a loved one developed or died from any of these illnesses after living or working at Camp Lejeune.
Get a free claim review now to find out if you qualify.
How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune VA Benefits?
Camp Lejeune VA benefits claims can be filed online, with a Veterans Service Officer (VSO), or at a VA regional office.
To file a Camp Lejeune VA benefits claim, you’ll need to show:
- Military records proving service at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987
- Medical records stating a diagnosis of one of the qualifying health conditions
- Proof that you were not dishonorably discharged
Filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits claim can feel overwhelming. This may be especially true for veterans battling severe health conditions or family members unfamiliar with the process.
The Camp Lejeune Claims Center is here to help. Our claims advocates are experienced in offering Camp Lejeune veterans support and are familiar with the process.
What if the VA Denied My Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA Benefits Claim?
Many veterans and survivors have found that their claims get delayed or denied. Sadly, many disabled American veterans are all too familiar with the refrain, “Delay, Deny, Wait Till They Die.”
In fact, a Yale Law School study found that once Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) began reviewing Camp Lejeune claims, the grant rate dropped to 8%.
Although approval rates have improved over time, as of 2022, over 75% of Camp Lejeune VA claims are still being denied.
Even if you were denied VA benefits, you may be newly eligible to seek compensation under the PACT Act.
Seeking Camp Lejeune Compensation Under the PACT Act
Seeking compensation under the PACT Act is possible for many individuals impacted by Camp Lejeune water contamination. PACT Act benefits are available in addition to Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits.
While Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits provide support for specific health conditions related to the contamination, compensation from a claim filed under the PACT Act focuses on broader justice.
Even if you were denied VA benefits for Camp Lejeune water in the past, you may be newly eligible to file a claim under the CLJA.
Taking action through the PACT Act may lead to a Camp Lejeune lawsuit settlement offer. These settlements aim to provide financial compensation for the harm caused by the contamination.
Watch our short video to learn more about what the PACT Act means to veterans and their families.
Learn what the recently signed PACT Act means for veterans and their loved ones stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. View Transcript.
Duration: 01 min 51 sec
Camp Lejeune 101: What the PACT ACT means for Camp Lejeune 101 veterans. On August 10th, 2022, United States President Joe Biden signed the PACT ACT, a bill that offers the most significant increase in critical healthcare and disability benefits to millions of veterans in their families in more than three decades, but what does this bill specifically mean for veterans who are stationed at Camp Lejeune?
Between 1953 and 1987, nearby businesses were dumping hazardous chemicals that made their way into the Camp Lejeune water supply systems. The water contained toxins, such as benzene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, chemicals that can cause cancer, infertility, miscarriages, and other illnesses. Residents and staff were repeatedly exposed to the site’s tap water system, including drinking and bathing in the water.
The PACT Act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, a bipartisan bill that allows veterans and their families who were exposed to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits and recover compensation for the harm done. If you or your loved ones were exposed to the toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Camp Lejeune Claim Center has been helping veterans and their families pursue compensation for their injuries. Call (866)-473-4764 today to request a free case review and see how we can help you too.
History of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) revealed that Camp Lejeune’s water contamination came from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point wells, affecting over one million people between 1953 and 1987.
The contamination was traced back to:
- Groundwater flow
- Off-base dry cleaning operations
- On-base operations
- Water supply well operation
- Water treatment plant operation
Through careful analysis, the ATSDR outlined the events that led to harmful chemicals such as benzene, dichloroethylene (DCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride contaminated the water supply
The findings also highlighted the health risks posed by each chemical.
U.S. Marines bore the brunt of the exposure due to their extensive water consumption during rigorous training in North Carolina’s warm climate. Besides drinking it, they bathed in and trained in swimming pools filled with this toxic water.
The CDC estimates a U.S. Marine might have consumed up to eight liters of contaminated water daily, showcasing the extensive exposure and the urgent need for addressing the health concerns arising from the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Can Veterans File a Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit?
Veterans can file a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit under the CLJA, which provides a legal avenue for those affected by the water contamination to seek compensation.
CLJA lawsuits are separate from VA benefits for Camp Lejeune water contamination, so you may be eligible if you are already receiving benefits or even if you’ve been denied benefits in the past.
Camp Lejeune lawsuits aim to hold the government accountable for the health issues caused by the contaminated water on base. It’s recommended to consult with a legal expert familiar with Camp Lejeune cases to understand the process and your eligibility for filing a lawsuit.
Start the process today with a free claim review. Our trained claims advocates are standing by, ready to help walk you through your options and connect you with a top Camp Lejeune lawyer if you qualify.
Get Camp Lejeune Legal Help
If you or a loved one has been affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination, consider getting experienced legal assistance to file for VA benefits or pursue compensation through a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
A knowledgeable Camp Lejeune attorney can provide invaluable guidance and ensure your claim is handled properly and submitted before the August 2024 deadline.
The Camp Lejeune Claims Center can help you navigate your CLJA eligibility, allowing you to get the highest compensation available in your case and making the process easier.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA Benefits FAQs
Will a Camp Lejeune settlement affect my veteran benefits?
No, a Camp Lejeune settlement will not affect your VA benefits. The compensation from lawsuit settlements and VA benefits come from completely separate federal budgets.
It’s important to investigate both avenues to maximize the compensation you receive. Consulting with a skilled Camp Lejeune law firm can help provide clarity on what you are eligible for.
Can you get VA disability compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination?
Yes, you can get VA disability compensation for specific health conditions linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination between 1953 and 1987.
To get disability Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits, you must provide evidence of your service at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period and medical documentation of your health condition.
How much are veterans getting for Camp Lejeune water contamination?
Payouts for Camp Lejeune claims are expected to be anywhere between $25,000 to over $1 million.
The compensation amount veterans receive for Camp Lejeune water contamination will vary based on factors like the severity of their health conditions and the type of claim filed.
An experienced Camp Lejeune lawyer can help veterans determine how much they can expect to receive and what their best avenue is for pursuing maximal compensation.
What is the VA disability rating for Camp Lejeune water contamination?
The VA disability rating for Camp Lejeune water contamination is determined on a case-by-case basis, considering the severity and impact of the health condition.
Veterans can receive a rating between 0% and 100%, which affects the amount of disability compensation they receive. It’s crucial to consult with the VA, your VSO, or an experienced lawyer to understand your specific rating and entitlements.