January 14, 2017
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Payout Spans 1953 To 1987: Application Information Released

For over 30 years, members of the military were potentially exposed to toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The government has agreed to offer disability payments to the military members who contracted specific diseases and conditions and who were stationed at Camp Lejeune during those 30-plus years.

Out of this Camp Lejeune water settlement the government has agreed to make disability payments to those who contracted the different conditions and diseases that are listed below. The cost of these benefits is expected to top $2 billion. To receive this disability payment, you must submit an application for approval along with proof that you meet the criteria.

These cash benefit payouts coming from the Camp Lejeune water settlement will begin in March. They have recently started to accept applications and so far more than 1,000 applications have been submitted and are pending. The Department of Veterans Affairs is handling these cash payouts for veterans deemed eligible and who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days during the time period between August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987.

There are eight medical conditions covered under the water settlement for the former Camp Lejeune military members. Applicants need to show medical evidence of a diagnosis of one of the eight conditions along with military evidence to establish their time at Camp Lejeune, reports PBS.
The settlement was reached after "sufficient scientific and medical evidence" was presented that demonstrated an association between these eight medical conditions and the exposure to the chemicals that were found in the water supplied to those living at Camp Lejeune during the 30-plus years. The outgoing Veteran's Affairs Secretary, Bob McDonald, made the determination based on the evidence submitted, which he called a "strong association" between the chemicals and conditions listed.

Once he found that the evidence did substantiate the claims of an association between the Camp Lejeune water and the listed conditions, the settlement was reached. This has prompted the VA to award this money as disability compensation to those Camp Lejeune applicants who qualify. As many as 900,000 service members were exposed to the tainted water at Camp Lejeune, but applicants are expected to number just a fraction of that number. They estimate 23,000 veterans will apply for this.

The chemicals in the tainted Camp Lejeune water were scientifically found to have a connection with these eight conditions below:
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Parkinson's disease
If you have another health condition that is not listed above and believe it may be related to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water, you are advised to contact your primary care physician and file a claim. According to the Government website, the VA will decide the claims on a case to case basis.
According to The VA website, the scientific evidence supports these eight conditions as having a connection to the different contaminants found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Service members who lived on the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base were potentially exposed to water contaminated with benzene, industrial solvents, as well as other chemicals. This includes military veterans, reservists, and members of the National Guard.

According to US News, there are approximately 1,400 applications pending from service members who submitted their claims already. If you are a service member with one of the eight conditions listed or believe you have a condition related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune from the time period listed, then you can submit a claim to the VA.

You can call your local VA for the application information. According to the VA website, if you are a veteran, you can apply here for health benefits for the conditions in the Camp Lejeune water settlement at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply or call 1-877-222-8387 for help.

According to the VA, both veterans and their family members who lived with the military members at Camp Lejeune during the decades listed in the contaminated water settlement are also entitled to reimbursement for medical costs for 15 diseases and conditions they may have contracted. The 15 specified conditions are listed below.

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
For the family reimbursement program, you can apply online for reimbursement or call 1-866-372-1144 for help.

[Featured Image by Allen Breed/AP Images]