Search Site
VA May Establish Presumptive-Disability Status for Camp Lejeune Illnesses

It may soon be much easier for suffering veterans to access benefits for illnesses related to service at Camp Lejeune. The Veterans Administration recently announced that it is beginning the process of amending its regulations to establish presumptive status for certain diseases linked to certain chemical contaminants that were in the base’s drinking water. Presumptive status would mean that a veteran need not prove exposure caused the disease, but instead could access benefits simply by demonstrating service at Camp Lejeune within the prescribed time frame.

The diseases the VA is considering include kidney cancer, angiosarcoma of the liver and acute myelogenous leukemia, which have established links to the chemicals benzene, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. A study from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) also suggests a strong causal link between the contaminated water and the onset of male breast cancer. The VA plans to work with ATSDR to evaluate the body of scientific knowledge related to the chemicals in question and the diseases they potentially cause. The VA also pledges to consider all public comments made during the review period.

The fight for Camp Lejeune benefits has been waged for decades, but finally saw a significant victory in 2012 with the passage of the Janey Ensminger Act, named for a Camp Lejeune Master Sergeant’s daughter whose death at age eight was later linked to the base’s tainted water. That federal law provides no-cost health benefits for 15 qualifying conditions to Camp Lejeune veterans who served there for 30 days or more between 1953 and 1987. However, that law did nothing for civilian workers at the base who were exposed to the same water.

We urge veterans who are suffering from diseases they believe are related to service at Camp Lejeune to be vocal during the public comment period. Let the VA and your congressional representatives hear your story. Any presumptive status granted will be specific to the diseases the VA chooses. If you remain silent about your condition, you could get left behind.

If you are a Camp Lejeune veteran or family member, and you’ve been denied VA benefits, the accredited veterans’ benefits attorneys at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban can help. Call us from anywhere in the nation at 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.

    — Alfred Daye

  • As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.

    — Harry Johnson

  • I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!

    — Luther Henderson

  • My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.

    — Michele DeZayas

  • Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.

    — Michele DeZayas

Contact us

Quick Contact Form