VA Announces Expanded Compensation Eligibility for Camp Lejeune Vets
After reviewing findings by the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald has decided to propose presumptions of service connection for certain conditions associated with chemical solvents that contaminated the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from 1953 to 1987. The proposal is to include the following illnesses:
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Aplastic anemia/Myelodysplastic syndromes
Presumptions are important to potential claimants, because they mean that claimants do not have to prove exposure or causation. As long as a claimant has a service record at Camp Lejeune during the applicable time period, a diagnosis of a presumptive condition is enough to make someone eligible for a variety of benefits. The secretary’s proposal would also expand benefits eligibility to Reserve and National Guard personnel who served at Camp Lejeune during the required time period.
However, the VA still must write the regulations to establish the presumptions and cannot issue benefits based on a presumption until the new regulations are complete. The VA has stated that it will not deny claims based on the would-be presumption, but will issue a stay on the decision until the new regulations are written.
Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban believes that all veterans should get the benefits they deserve. If you or a loved one served at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days and received a diagnosis of any one of the conditions listed above, our accredited veterans’ benefits attorneys want to help. Call us from anywhere in the nation at 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.