Camp Lejeune Water Exposure

Camp LejeuneThe VA has finally established a presumptive service connection for some veterans, reservists and National Guard members who were exposed to contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water supply.

What are the service requirements to qualify for presumptive service-connection for exposure to Camp Lejeune water?

In order to qualify the service member needs to have served at least 30 days (which do not have to be consecutive days) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.

What medical conditions are considered to be service-connected based on exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune?

The following eight conditions are eligible for presumptive service-connection and must be severe enough to be rated at 10% or higher:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Adult leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer

What about benefits for family members?

The VA does not have the authority to establish a compensation benefit for family members. However, the 2012 Camp Lejeune Families Act does allow for reimbursements of out-of-pocket medical expenses for family members with one of the 15 qualifying conditions listed in that Act. Veterans are entitled to cost-free VA healthcare for those same conditions. The veteran and/or family member must have been at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987.
The qualifying health conditions for this benefit are:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Female infertility
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Will the VA reopen old claims for those conditions?

The rule currently only applies to claims filed after the effective date of March 14, 2017 and for active claims that were pending on the effective date. If you filed a claim in the past that is not still active, then a new claim needs to be filed.

If you have any questions about service connection for a condition resulting from your exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune, please call our Raleigh office at 888-966-6566  or contact us for assistance.