In 2012 Congress passed a law recognizing that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987. This law allowed the VA to pay for medical treatment for certain health problems caused by the water. The law did not allow the VA to pay any service-connected compensation for these problems. The VA is now deciding whether it will recognize certain medical conditions as presumptively related to the contaminated water at the camp. This means that the VA will pay compensation for certain diseases if the veteran was at Camp Lejeune between 1953-1987. The veteran does not have to show an actual connection between the disease and the water. The diseases the VA is thinking of paying compensation for are: kidney cancer; angiosarcoma (a type of cancer) of the liver; and acute myelogenous leukemia.
It will take the VA time to decide if it will pay compensation for these diseases. However, a veteran with one of these diseases should not delay filing a claim. The date compensation begins will be decided by when the claim was filed. Even if the claim is filed and denied, the veteran can appeal. If the VA decides to pay compensation, the veteran will already have a claim in the system ensuring the earliest effective date can be assigned.
If the veteran has medical evidence that the disease was caused by the chemicals in the water, a claim can also be filed for any other disease that was caused by the water at the camp.
If this sounds confusing, it’s because it is. A qualified attorney can help you sift through the regulations. If you think a medical problem may be connected to your time in service, contact Abes Baumann and speak to an attorney today.