If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days straight between the time frame of Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, and you currently suffer from health problems associated with the toxic water that was present at that time, you may eligible to file a claim with the VA. Claim acceptance begins on March 14, and, if your claim is approved, will provide additional disability benefits if you are already getting disability benefits from the VA.
Those vets who may qualify for added benefits will have to provide evidence that they are suffering from one (or more) of the following: Parkinson’s disease, adult leukemia, bladder cancer, aplastic anemia, bladder cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. The VA has stated that there is no automatic review; medical documents will have to be included in the application package. And to be clear, these new benefits are only for those who were at Camp Lejeune during the time period stated above.
Because of the large number of personnel who were present at Camp Lejeune during this time (estimates are about 900,000), the VA does expect a surge of applications that will add to its current backlog. It also estimates that of the 900,000 who were there between 1953 to 1987, only about 22,000 will be eligible for the new added benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has also said that claims may reach more than $2 billion. President Trump has already approved the new regulation via presidential exemption.
As of right now, the VA’s Louisville, Ky., Regional Office (RO) will handle all claims. If the volume becomes more than it can process in a timely manner, other RO’s may be tasked to help. The VA has made great progress in cutting its backlog numbers of late, and it wants to keep it that way.
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