Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Jan 26, 2017 in Veterans' Benefits
Earlier this month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published regulations that will allow veterans who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to obtain more than $2 billion in disability benefits.
The regulations establish a presumption of service connection between eight diseases and toxic water at Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River and any housing areas or satellite camps. The presumption applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard veterans who served at one of these locations for at least 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987.
The eight medical conditions linked to the toxic water include:
The VA revealed that almost 900,000 veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 may have been exposed to water contaminated with the metal degreaser trichloroethylene, benzene, vinyl chloride and the dry cleaning agent perchloroethylene.
These veterans are already eligible for medical benefits, thanks to the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.
They can also receive disability benefits if they provide sufficient evidence that they served at Camp Lejeune during the 34 years in question and they have one of the eight conditions in the VA's presumption of service connection.
The presumption of service connection will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register or at the conclusion of a 60-day Congressional Review, whichever comes later.
There are currently 1,400 pending claims related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and they are set to be reviewed immediately. The VA estimates that a total of 23,000 veterans exposed to toxic water will qualify for benefits.
This is one of the few times that military personnel who were not deployed for war could be eligible for cash payouts.
If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1980 and developed one of the eight covered conditions, our veterans' disability lawyers can assist you with your application for benefits.
We can help you compile the documentation you will need to prove your diagnosis and establish when you were stationed at Camp Lejeune.
The Nye Law Group's managing partner is Robert Nye III, a former Army Infantry Officer and Bronze Star recipient. He knows how to navigate the veterans' disability process to help ensure your claim is successful.