Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA Benefits

Veterans who served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987 may be eligible for VA benefits. However, many veterans and their loved ones have faced delays due to a backlog of claims. Even higher numbers of disabled veterans have been denied, often repeatedly.

Frustrating delays and denials have blocked many veterans from receiving the support they desperately need and deserve. Learn about accessing Camp Lejeune water contamination VA benefits and what other options you may have.

How Did Camp Lejeune Water Become Contaminated?

According to the federal government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Camp Lejeune water was contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released into the groundwater and pumped into the base through the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point wells.

To determine which Camp Lejeune water chemicals were present, ATSDR examined:

  • Groundwater flow
  • Off-base dry cleaning operations
  • On-base operations
  • Water-monitoring data
  • Water-supply well operation
  • Water-treatment plant operation

By reconstructing Camp Lejeune’s historical operations and studying other relevant data, by the late 1980s, ATSDR could provide a chronology of events leading to water contamination. This breakdown of events also included which chemicals were involved and what health issues each is likely to cause.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Health Issues

The full extent of harm caused by Camp Lejeune’s drinking water is unknown, but the experts have linked the water to multiple health issues.

Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues may include various types of cancer or other health problems:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Birth defects
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiac defects
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphomas
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Scleroderma

What Years Were Involved in Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

According to ATSDR, the drinking water Camp Lejeune drinking water contamination occurred from 1953 through 1987.

During this time, nearly one million people may have been exposed to toxic chemicals, including:

  • Benzene
  • Dichloroethylene (DCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene — also known as perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Other contaminants

U.S. Marines are at the highest risk due to the amount of water they drink during military service training, especially in a warm climate like North Carolina’s. They would then bathe in the toxic water multiple times daily and train in swimming pools filled with harmful chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a Marine may have consumed up to eight liters of contaminated drinking water daily.

Am I Eligible for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VA Benefits?

Disabled veterans may qualify for Camp Lejeune water contamination benefits if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River in North Carolina for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987
  2. Didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge
  3. Have a diagnosis of one or more presumptive conditions
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Camp Lejeune Water Presumptive Conditions

Many more health issues are believed to be linked to Camp Lejeune contaminated water, but the VA considers only eight to be presumptive conditions.

To receive VA disability Camp Lejeune water contamination benefits, you must have been diagnosed with one or more of the following:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

Who Is Eligible for Camp Lejeune VA Disability Benefits?

What Kind of Camp Lejeune VA Benefits Can I Get?

  • VA health care for illnesses associated with Camp Lejeune water
  • VA compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination

Can Family Members Get Camp Lejeune VA Benefits?

Family members may receive Camp Lejeune VA health care if they provide evidence that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Family members must have the following supporting documents:

  • Proof of your relationship to the veteran who served on active duty for at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, or adoption papers
  • Proof that you lived at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1953 through December 1987, such as utility bills, military orders, or tax forms
  • Medical records that show you have one of the following conditions:
    • Bladder cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Female infertility
    • Hepatic steatosis
    • Kidney cancer
    • Leukemia
    • Lung cancer
    • Miscarriage
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Myelodysplastic syndromes
    • Neurobehavioral effects
    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    • Renal toxicity
    • Scleroderma

Family members will also need to provide evidence that health care expenses were paid during one of the following periods:

  • Between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987
  • Between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1956

Your health care benefits will vary based on which of these two time periods you fit into.

How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune VA Benefits?

Filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination VA claim can feel overwhelming. This may be especially true for veterans battling severe health conditions or family members unfamiliar with the process.

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

Camp Lejeune VA benefits claims can be filed online, with a Veterans service officer (VSO), or at a VA regional office.

Alternatively, you may wish to get help from Camp Lejeune Claims Center. Our VA-accredited attorneys are familiar with the process and can walk you through your eligible options.

Talk to an advocate now by calling (866) 473-4764.

What If the VA Denied My Camp Lejeune VA Benefits Claim?

Many veterans and survivors have found that their claims get delayed or denied. According to the VA, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a backlog of Camp Lejeune contaminated water claims.

Additionally, many disabled American veterans are too familiar with the refrain, “Delay, Deny, Wait Till They Die.” A Yale Law School study found that once Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) began reviewing Camp Lejeune claims, the grant rate dropped to 8%.

Thankfully, because of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, veterans and survivors who were denied VA benefits may be newly eligible to seek compensation through legal claims.

Can Veterans File a Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 to 1987, you may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water lawsuit against the federal government.

Start the process today by beginning a free Camp Lejeune water claim. A team member is standing by, ready to help walk you through your options and connect you with a top Camp Lejeune lawyer.

The Camp Lejeune Claims Center exists to help military veterans harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to get the financial compensation they deserve. We're ready to help you — at no out-of-pocket cost to you or your family.

  1. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). (2017, January). Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  2. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). (2014, January 16). Chemicals involved. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  3. Barrett, S. (2022, June 24). Camp Lejeune water contamination claims. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from,in%20connection%20with%20the%20exposure.

  4. Bove, F., Ruckart, P., Maslia, M., & Larson, T. (2014, February 19). Evaluation of mortality among Marines and Navy personnel exposed to contaminated drinking water at USMC Base Camp Lejeune: A retrospective cohort study – environmental health. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  5. (2021). H.R.2192 – Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  6. Herridge, C., & Kegu, J. (2022, February 17). “deny until they die”: Some veterans say va wrongly rejects claims for illnesses they blame on Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  7. Hugh McClean, Delay, Deny, Wait Till They Die: Balancing Veterans’ Rights and Non-Adversarial Procedures in the VA Disability Benefits System, 72 SMU L. Rev. 277 (2019)

  8. National Research Council (US) Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune. (2009). Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  9. NBC News. (2014, February 19). Camp Lejeune study finds Higher cancer death risk. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  10. US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2013, December 09). Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  11. US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022, March 07). Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

  12. Yale Law School. (n.d.). Camp Lejeune. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from

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Did you or a loved one live or work at Camp Lejeune at least 30 days between 1953-1987? *