The United States Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for lost earning potential and medical expenses if you are a guardsman, veteran, reservist, or a family member of someone who resided at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) or Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from August 1953 to December 1987 or worked there. This guide will show you how to go about it. Read on.
How Camp Lejeune’s Water Became Contaminated
Marine Corps reportedly found specific volatile organic compounds in the water supplied by two of Camp Lejeune’s water supply plants in 1982, according to the Prevention Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
A third plant was also found to have been using water from one of the infected plants occasionally over the years, mostly during routine shutdowns at the peak summer and spring water seasons.
Among these plants are:
- The Holcombe Boulevard supply plant, which opened in June 1972, supplied drinking water to Berkeley Manor, Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Watkins Village family housing.
- Until June 1972, the Hadnot Point distribution plant supplied drinking water to the Hospital Point family housing, Mainside barracks, Paradise Point, the family housing at Midway Park, and Berkeley Manor.
- From 1952 to 1987, the Tarawa Terrace delivery plant supplied water to Tarawa Terrace family housing and the Knox Trailer Park.
How to submit a VA claim for reimbursement and medical benefits
VA compensation for Camp Lejeune water contamination and medical benefits can be made by submitting a disability benefits case to the unit and giving detailed supporting documentation for your claim. Your attorney can submit this via the Veteran’s Administration’s online portal or by downloading the VA Form 10-10068, filling it out, and mailing it to the VA.
Additionally, claimants can go to their local VA office and deliver their statements in person with supporting documentation.
Evidence required to substantiate your statement
The VA requires:
- One or more documents, such as base housing documents, military rules, tax records, or utility bills attesting to the fact that you resided or worked at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days straight from August 1953 to December 1987.
- Families of a guardsman, veteran, or reservist must present proof of their connection to that serviceman, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or adoption records.
- Medical reports prove a screening of at least one of the diseases mentioned above.
For you and your family, a lawyer can find out all of that information.
How long does it take for the VA to process claims?
The VA estimates that it takes 141.9 days to process disability claims. Failure to provide the required documents to support connection at Camp Lejeune or insufficient documentation of a related illness are some things that can make the claims process take longer.
Water contamination at Camp Lejeune: How a lawyer can assist with your complaint
While it is not necessary to have legal representation to pursue benefits through a VA disability claim, it can be very beneficial to have a lawyer familiar with the VA reimbursement process and the process of pursuing compensation through class-action lawsuits and claims against the government.
An attorney could offer:
- Advice on your options for getting compensated for the costs and effects of your illness caused by water contamination.
- Help assemble the medical and presence proof documents you must send with your VA executive claim or a lawsuit you have filed against the federal government.
- Knowledge of the supporting evidence you’ll need, such as previous papers connecting exposure to the chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water supply, including studies linking your current medical condition to exposure to the chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water distribution system.
- Filing a lawsuit or a VA disability claim.
- Getting paid for an award or settlement.
Jeremy Biberdorf is a long-time internet marketing pro turned online entrepreneur and blogger. Check out his investing blog at Modest Money.
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