The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is located in North Carolina, along the coast. The base has been around since 1942, so it’s no surprise that many people who have served there may be experiencing health problems related to their time at Camp Lejeune.
Several environmental issues with the water supply back then could have caused severe illnesses for those serving on active duty during this period. Data shows that over 40 conditions have affected those who stayed or worked at the camp. Nowadays, you can file a claim for compensation if you believe this happened to you and your family too.
What Is Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a Marine Corps Base in North Carolina, built during World War II and used as a training center for Marines and sailors.
Camp Lejeune is named after Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune, who served as Commanding General of the 2nd Division from 1914 to 1916 before becoming commander of all U.S. troops in France during World War I. The base was originally called Camp Donelson until it was renamed after its founder in 1942.
Unfortunate events of water contamination took place at Camp Lejeune in the late 1900s. When studies revealed that the water was contaminated, the base was not active for some time.
Health Conditions Caused By Water Contamination Exposure at Camp Lejeune
Studies conducted on Camp Lejeune’s water supply revealed that the veterans and their families living there had been exposed to contaminants for several years. These studies also confirmed the association of contaminant exposure to several medical conditions, like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
The chemicals included benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and other solvents, and they were found at levels much higher than what is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A report released by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that “as many as 750 people may have died from diseases related to their exposure.” In fact, recent reports show that the mariners stationed at Camp Lejeune between August 1953 and December 1987 have a 10% greater risk of dying from cancer.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation From the Marines?
The Marine Corps is compensating those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Who is eligible for compensation?
- Military personnel and family members were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
- Family members of deceased military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
How Much Is the Camp Lejeune Compensation
The Camp Lejeune compensation you receive is based on the severity of your illness and how much time has passed since you were stationed there. Veterans are not guaranteed to be compensated for their illnesses or injuries.
Many factors can impact the total compensation. According to TorHoerman Law, factors like injuries suffered, conditions diagnosed, total time spent at Camp Lejeune, etc., can influence the settlement amount.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the Honoring Our Pact Act 2022 to cost $278.5 billion over the next ten years. The compensation for Camp Lejeune is a part of the PACT Act.
Navigating the Claims Process
If you are a Camp Lejeune veteran and want to file a claim, here’s what you need to know:
- Find an attorney. As mentioned above, several attorneys specialize in this area of law. The Department of Justice has created a list of attorneys who have been approved by them and can help with your case. If none of those attorneys work out for you, look elsewhere. There are plenty more out there who may be able to assist with your case.
- Find a healthcare provider who will provide free treatment during the claims process. You might need an examination from an expert witness, such as an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist, for them to evaluate whether any current medical conditions were caused by exposure at Camp Lejeune during service time there. If so, based on those findings alone, how much compensation should be paid out? If anyone disregards the compliance guidelines, a penalty of $50,000 may be levied.
Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them
While many veterans are filing the Camp Lejeune lawsuit, they face many challenges. Here are some challenges and how to overcome them.
- You may feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed by the prospect of filing a claim. This is entirely normal. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this process, and many resources are available to help you through it.
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions if your case isn’t being handled correctly or if something needs clarification. This can be done over the phone or by emailing the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). The VBA representatives are here to assist with your claim.
They want veterans like yourself affected by their service at Camp Lejeune to receive all possible benefits they’re entitled to, but only if those claims are submitted correctly and completed on time, so ensure all forms are completed completely before submitting them.
Resources and Support for Affected Individuals
If you or someone you know has been affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, there are several resources and support options available:
- ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry): The ATSDR has studied the health effects of the Camp Lejeune water contamination. They provide information, resources, and support for affected individuals.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The VA recognizes certain medical conditions as presumptively associated with exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Eligible veterans can receive healthcare benefits and disability compensation.
- Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS): MCCS provides various support services to Marines and their families, including those affected by water contamination. They offer counseling, healthcare assistance, and other resources. Contact your local MCCS office.
- Legal Assistance: If you have a Camp Lejeune water contamination case, consider contacting an attorney specializing in environmental law or toxic torts. They can guide potential legal remedies and compensation options.
I hope this guide has helped you understand the Camp Lejeune compensation process. It can be a complicated and confusing process, but the more you know about it, the better off you’ll be in your efforts to receive compensation.