Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lung Diseases

For many years, the Marine Corps Base of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has been making headlines following discovery that the drinking, cooking, and bathing water supplied to the camp between 1953 and 1987 was laced with deadly toxins from a local dry cleaner. Unfortunately, the servicemen and women based at the camp during this period weren’t aware of the contamination.

Because of this, many of those people have passed away after developing severe complications after using this contaminated water; others are still suffering from chronic diseases caused by this contamination. Camp Lejeune water contamination lung diseases are among the most commonly reported complications. Almost every victim of this contamination is likely to cite a respiratory complication when filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit–but are lung diseases eligible for disability compensation?

How the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Happened

One of the main questions that people ask when they hear about Camp Lejeune’s disaster is, how did the water become contaminated at Camp Lejeune? Investigations revealed that the contamination came from an off-base dry cleaner–ABC One-Hour Cleaners–that disposed of cleaning chemicals like PCE into nearby water wells, thus contaminating the groundwater. This contamination occurred between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987, when the company was operational.

Compensation for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lung Diseases

If you served or lived in Camp Lejeune between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987, you may have consumed contaminants found in the drinking water at the camp. Scientific and medical studies have revealed a direct connection between exposure to contaminants and the development of certain health complications later on. Lung diseases are among the main Camp Lejeune presumptive conditions.

So, if you resided at the camp during this time and have evidence of a diagnosis of lung disease, you qualify for disability benefits. However, there’s a lot of confusion around Camp Lejeune water contamination eligibility–the current law makes it extremely tedious and nearly impossible for the victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination to seek disability compensation.

For example, lung diseases associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination aren’t listed among the presumptive conditions that qualify for disability compensation. You can only receive the disability benefits if you’ve been diagnosed with any of these conditions:

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

Furthermore, these disability compensation benefits are only available to veterans, reservists, and guardsmen who worked and lived in the camp during the specified period of contamination–their family members aren’t eligible for these benefits. The only compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination lung diseases comes in the form of healthcare and reimbursement. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), veterans and their family members who lived in Camp Lejeune during the specified contamination period are eligible for healthcare benefits. The department can reimburse your out-of-pocket healthcare costs that are related to lung diseases like lung cancer. You can also receive these healthcare benefits if you’ve been diagnosed with any of the following presumptive conditions:

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

To get these benefits, you must file a claim and provide all the required evidence. For instance, if you’re filing a claim as a veteran, you must provide your military records showing that you served at the camp for at least thirty days between August 1st, 1953 and December 31st, 1987. You must also provide medical proof of the diagnosis like a doctor’s report or test results.

As a family member of a veteran who lived at the camp during this period, you need to prove that you are related to a veteran who worked at the camp and that you lived there during the contamination period; you must have lived there for at least thirty days during the specified period. Additionally, you’ll need to provide medical records showing your recent diagnosis and treatment costs, as the VA requires proof of all expenses incurred treating the presumptive condition in order to reimburse you.

Of course, a qualified attorney at Strom Law can help make sure you receive the benefits and compensation to which you are entitled by guiding you, step-by-step, through the entire claim process.





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