From 1953 to 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base was contaminated with harmful chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). These chemicals are known to be carcinogenic and have been linked to various health problems.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) acknowledges the harm caused to those who were exposed to the contaminated water. It further provides a pathway for them to seek compensation. The Act also establishes a list of presumptive conditions, which are health problems assumed to be caused by contaminated water exposure.
This article provides information about the presumptive health conditions associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination.
The list of presumptive health conditions linked to the contamination is comprehensive, albeit subject to ongoing review. Recognized under the Camp Lejeune health care law, veterans are eligible for cost-free health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for specific conditions.
The current list of presumptive health conditions includes:
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast, kidney, bladder and lung cancer
- Renal toxicity
- Multiple myeloma
- Female infertility
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects/Parkinson’s disease
Veterans may enroll in VA health care for these 16 covered health conditions at no cost, including copayments. To substantiate claims, individuals must provide evidence of a dependent relationship to a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune. They must also have documentation proving residence on the base for at least 30 days.
The VA may, at times, deny claims related to the presumptive health conditions arising from Camp Lejeune water contamination. This adds a layer of complexity to the compensation process for affected veterans.
TorHoerman Law highlights that in cases of rejected claims, veterans possess legal recourse by participating in the Camp Lejeune lawsuit. This collective legal action empowers veterans to challenge denials and pursue rightful compensation under the CJLA.
Additionally, Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement amounts offer a pathway for financial relief for those affected. As per the Camp Lejeune Claims Center, the anticipated total payouts exceed $21 billion, with settlement amounts varying from $25,000 to over $1 million. These figures consider factors like the severity of harm from toxic water, duration of exposure, and other relevant considerations.
Families navigating the aftermath of Camp Lejeune’s water crisis are advised to be mindful of the August 2024 filing deadline.
Veterans and their families impacted by Camp Lejeune water contamination can access vital support and resources through various programs. They include:
The VA plays a pivotal role in providing comprehensive assistance, offering healthcare, disability compensation, and counseling services. Veterans can avail themselves of healthcare benefits to address specific health conditions associated with exposure to toxic substances in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
Disability compensation ensures financial support for veterans dealing with service-related health issues.
Moreover, the VA extends counseling services, recognizing the emotional and psychological toll of the water contamination crisis. This multifaceted support serves as a lifeline, acknowledging the diverse needs of veterans in navigating the aftermath of the contamination.
CLFMP provides healthcare reimbursement for eligible family members for specific health conditions associated with the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This program acknowledges the broader impact on families who resided on the base, extending support for their healthcare costs.
A notable development in this program is its expansion to include coverage for Parkinson’s disease. According to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, the Biden administration recently announced an extension of health care coverage for family members of Camp Lejeune veterans.
The expansion now encompasses the costs of treating Parkinson’s disease, filling a crucial gap in the program’s coverage. This proactive step highlights the commitment to addressing the evolving health needs of families affected by the contamination.
In the complex world of Camp Lejeune claims, VSOs play a vital role in supporting veterans and their families. These organizations, like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, offer invaluable assistance to navigate the claims process.
VSOs provide a wealth of resources and services, including:
- Information and guidance: VSOs stay up-to-date on the latest developments in Camp Lejeune legislation and regulations. They provide veterans with accurate and relevant information.
- Claims assistance: VSO representatives can help veterans understand the claims process, complete the paperwork, and gather evidence to support their claims.
- Legal representation: Many VSOs have lawyers on staff or can connect veterans with qualified legal counsel specializing in Camp Lejeune cases.
- Emotional support: VSOs offer a network of understanding and support from other veterans and their families who have faced similar experiences.
In conclusion, the legacy of the Camp Lejeune water crisis has left a profound mark on the lives of many. Through an informed understanding of the presumptive health conditions, veterans and their families can embark on a journey toward seeking justice.
As affected individuals navigate these challenges, knowledge becomes a powerful tool. It empowers them to access the support necessary for reclaiming a sense of justice and resolution in the aftermath of this environmental tragedy.