VA Benefits

Can a Civilian File For VA Benefits?

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You might have heard on the news recently that civilians are now able to file for VA disability benefits due to toxic water exposure in Camp Lejeune. While it is true that some civilians may file for disability benefits, most people won’t be able to enjoy this advantage. However, those filing for disability are victims of a toxic water incident that led to the deaths of many in Camp Lejeune.

Below is everything you need to know about a civilian filing for VA benefits. To read more about Camp Lejeune and why many lawyers are fighting for their victim’s behalf, check out this link here¬†https://www.dolmanlaw.com/camp-lejeune-water-contamination-va-benefits-claim-lawyer/

Then, you can read about how you can file for a VA disability claim as a civilian.

Am I Eligible To File a Claim?

If you are a victim of the Camp Lejeune toxic water incident, then you can file a claim. This incident involves toxic water that was contaminated due to runoff from a nearby Dry cleaner between the years 1953 and 1987. If you were stationed or working in Camp Lejeune during this time period, chances are you might have been exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Drinking water containing chemicals including Benzene, Trichlorethylene,  tetrachloroethylene, and other carcinogens. Sadly, these carcinogens proved to be deadly to many active duty military members, civilian workers, families, and children living on base.

There were even reports of miscarriages and infertility among women, causing life-long effects and a ripple in many families.

If you are one of the victims that experienced disease due to the toxic drinking water in Camp Lejeune, drank the water for a period of 30 days or longer between 1953 and 1987, and continue to suffer from the effects of the water toxicity levels, then you may be eligible to file a VA disability claim. The PACT act now allows civilians to file for claims if they were involved in the Camp Lejeune incident.

How Do I File a Claim?

To file a claim, you will need to gather all appropriate paperwork including:

  • Medical documents
  • Historical documents proving you worked in or around the base and were exposed to toxic water for more than 30 days
  • Other documents proving you are still affected by the toxic water despite having healed from your disease

Gathering this paperwork is easier said than done. It can take a significant amount of time to reach out to your medical providers and ask for copies, or to find historical paperwork to prove your employment or that you were living at Camp Lejeune.

It’s best to get the help of a lawyer or other representative to help you gather evidence for your claim. You will then submit an “intent to file” form, and after that, you have one year to turn in all relevant paperwork. You will receive backpay for any disability you are found eligible for.

What if my Claim Gets Denied?

If your claim gets denied, don’t be discouraged. You can file an appeal, and you can also choose to file a lawsuit. The PACT act also incorporated into its bill the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows victims to seek damages through civil lawsuits. Get in touch with a lawyer today to see how you can get the settlement and disability you deserve if you’re a victim of toxic water.

Read more on KulFiy

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