Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

Service men and women who served at Marine Corps Air Station or Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may have been exposed to harmful chemicals in the drinking water. Two water wells on the base were contaminated with toxic chemicals. Both of those were closed in 1985, but it was too late to prevent some harmful exposure to some individuals. 

The chemicals that were found in those water wells circulated through the drinking water, so servicemembers and their family members who were living on base at the time, as well as those who only worked on the base, were exposed. Vinyl chloride, benzene, perchloroethylene, and trichloroethylene were found in the water. Other compounds were also found. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has some very strict requirements for those who want to seek compensation for their medical bills, as well as other payments. Only people who served at one of the two affected bases from August 1953 through December 1987 might be eligible. They must not have received a dishonorable discharge from their military service. 

The Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 only includes guardsman, reservists, veterans, and their immediate family members. In order to meet eligibility guidelines, they must have been on the base for 30 consecutive days during the eligibility period. This can be either living on the base or being stationed there for at least 30 days.

The VA isn’t covering all medical conditions for these individuals. Instead, it is only covering a total of 15 health conditions. Some common cancers, such as bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and breast cancer are included. Female infertility and miscarriage are also on the list. You can find a list of the presumptive conditions at Dolman Law (https://www.dolmanlaw.com/camp-lejeune-water-contamination-lawsuit/presumptive-conditions/).

There is a plethora of documentation that the VA wants people to provide if they want to receive medical care for the condition now or reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical bills the applicant paid for. It notes that when all of the required documentation isn’t provided, the claim may be delayed and the VA will attempt to use internal sources to verify the information. 

The fact that it took that long to help provide for people who were serving the country and were exposed to hazardous chemicals is an atrocity. Some people who need these benefits are going to have to go through a lot of bureaucratic red tape. 

This is especially true for family members who need benefits because they will have to prove that they were a dependent of the servicemember and that they lived on base. Marriage licenses and birth certificates are easy enough to get. But, trying to find copies of base housing records or military orders from 1953 through 1987 probably won’t be very easy. 

Getting help with these claims may make the process a bit easier for people who need to receive compensation because of health issues they’ve faced because of contaminated water exposure. It’s best to do this as quickly as possible because there are strict time limits for these cases. 

 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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