If you were exposed to contaminated water while living or working at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible for a claim. The contamination, which occurred from the 1950s to the 1980s, was caused by various chemicals, including benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride – and have since been proven to cause serious health problems. As such, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established eligibility criteria for veterans, civilian workers, and family members who might be victims
Time Served on Active Duty
Veterans who served on active duty for at least 30 days, between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, are eligible to submit a Camp Lejeune claim. This also applies to civilian contractors, employees, and Reserve, or National Guard members stationed during the same period. This means anyone who served at this camp during this time frame is eligible to file a claim. If you can prove this information with the right documents. Once you have that in order then you can reach out to a legal professional.
Family and Household Members
Immediate family members are eligible to file a claim. This includes the spouse, children, and other dependents of a veteran, or civilian worker. Or any other individual who was stationed at affected camps for the specified time. If they have solid evidence to back this claim up. Keeping track of the details is important for cases like these. If you were affected by the toxic water from Camp Lejeune with the evidence to prove it, you can and should file a claim.
To be eligible for compensation, victims must also demonstrate that they were diagnosed with one of the 15 qualifying conditions associated with the exposure. This list is made up of various cancers (including breast, bladder, kidney, leukemia, and multiple myeloma) as well as other medical conditions (such as adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, scleroderma, Parkinson’s disease, and aplastic anemia) listed on VA’s website.
If you meet the above criteria and have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying medical conditions, you are likely eligible for a Camp Lejeune claim. To get started, you can visit the VA’s website or contact your local VA office to learn more about the process and how you can apply.
The burden of Proof and Compensation
Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to provide sufficient evidence for your claim. Therefore, you might have to spend considerable time and effort gathering the necessary documents to support your claim. You should be prepared to provide information showing you lived on the affected bases, evidence of military service, duty station, and/or medical records confirming your diagnosis. When it comes to possible compensation from successful claims, they can include several types:
Disability compensation: Paid to veterans or their family members who have suffered from a disability or medical condition that is directly linked to exposure to contaminants. This type of compensation is for veterans who cannot work anymore due to their health conditions. Here they can receive a form of payment that can keep them afloat. This is also beneficial to families who may have lost job opportunities because they were taking care of their relatives.
Medical benefits: These can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, and other necessary medical treatments. These are all costs that can add up. Especially if you are not able to work. Having these types of benefits can help keep someone on their feet and not be weighed down by medical debt. The ability to have all your treatments taken care of can make all the difference.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC): This is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to the surviving spouse, children, or parents of a veteran who died because of a service-connected disability. This includes those related to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This can cover any income lost during the timeframe when a loved one of a veteran has passed. This pain and suffering could have been avoided if they weren’t exposed to harsh chemicals. These families deserve these types of benefits.
One-time benefits payment: A lump sum payment that compensates veterans for past losses or expenses related to their disability or medical condition caused by the exposure. This includes loss of income as they are not able to work anymore due to their condition. With these payments, they can make up that possible income. That way veterans who are unable to work still have money to keep them covered.
Overall, if you meet the eligibility criteria and have been diagnosed with one or more conditions related to the contaminants’ exposure, seeking compensation through a claim can help ease your financial burden. The VA does not always process claims quickly, so it’s important to follow up regularly and provide complete documentation that is easy for them to review. Having an experienced attorney on your side can also help navigate the paperwork and ensure your claim is filed correctly. They will help you keep track of details and make sure you aren’t missing out on any benefits.
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