But I mean looking at Agent Orange the presumptive conditions that have been, you know, added to the books over all the years since Vietnam have increased. Colorless toxic chemicals saturated the water supply over many years. presented nationwide on disability law. Christian: And that the, it might change. If a veteran served at Camp Lejeune (or MCAS New River) for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1953 and December 1987, the VA will presumptively grant service-connection for the following disabilities: Adult leukemia MARINE CORPS PHOTO volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as perchloroethylene (PCE), a solvent used in an off-base dry cleaning business; trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent used for cleaning metal parts; Benzene, a fuel component also used to make other chemicals. He did not feel the effects for years until, in 2010, he thought he had kidney stones. [laughing] Do you want to just go through a little bit of the history of what happened at that particular in that particular area? And then an actual nexus or connection between the two, which is usually medical evidence. Do You Have Disability Insurance Coverage? And something we wanted to note is that these rules can apply right to guardsmen and reservists, but that can be complicated, so if you were in the guard, you were a reservist, you’re at camp Lejeune you know, we would definitely suggest that you reach out to an advocate that might be able to help you make that case cause the, the rules are going to be really the rules about the you know, how you would go about direct service connection and everything would be similar but the, but some of the rules are a little bit more complicated and it would probably be wise to get some help. There was a lot of research that went into this, you know, I had mentioned that agency for toxic substances and disease registry, I always call it a stir, but I don’t know that that’s how you would say that. So in 2012, Congress passed the Honoring Faith America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. And, what they found, I mentioned chemicals, they found Volatile Organic Compounds commonly referred to as VOCs, such as dry-cleaning solvent degreasers and almost 70 other hazardous chemicals. But just bear in mind as a veteran, you can get both the healthcare and actually monthly payments based on the severity of your condition. These members who lived on Camp Lejeune, meet the time-on-station and service date requirements, and have one of the covered conditions. It’s called, a 10-106 8B. And that’s why they call it a presumption. Camp Lejeune is the second largest Marine Corps base in the U.S. During a period spanning from the 1950s through the 1980s, some one million marines (and family members) stationed at the base were exposed to contaminated well water. 86 Veterans Law Review [Vol. For veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987, who have any conditions they think are directly related to or aggravated by contaminated water, we encourage you to file a claim for compensation. The contamination occurred back in a time when federal law did not limit toxins in drinking water. Marc is double board-certified in Social Security and Personal Injury. And that granted some benefits to families who had been exposed. So the form just so again is a hundred as a 10-106 8B. If you do it through e-benefits [crosstalk] e-benefits account, you could do it, but you can’t just send it through VA’s website just on their site and upload to them. If you’re trying to get direct service connection, so service connection for a period before the presumption takes place or if you don’t meet the criteria within the presumption, maybe you were only there for 29 days, you could still try to establish that that is sufficient, that exposure for 29 days was sufficient to have, caused the conditions that you now have. For more than two decades, the Navy and Marine Corps have supported and assisted the study of possible impacts of water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. To date, approximately 4,400 Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) administrative claims have been filed alleging personal injury or wrongful death resulting from exposure to contaminants from the 1950s to the 1980s. 5 Ways to Establish VA Service Connection – Video, VA Disability For Knee Conditions And Pain, Presumption of Service Connection Definition, Episode 48: Secondary Conditions to Tinnitus for VA Disability Benefits, Episode 22: VA Benefits for Spouses of Disabled Veterans, Episode 31: VA Disability Benefits & Diabetes, Episode 9: Court Rules VA Must Pay Retroactive Benefits to Blue Water Navy Veterans. But if you’re talking service from 53 to 56, it actually is from December 2014. of concern at Camp Lejeune. Our mission has always been to serve, and we are proud to be able to do that no matter the circumstance. Family members are only eligible to receive healthcare benefits. When a veteran in one of these groups is diagnosed with one of those conditions, the VA concludes that the circumstances of that veteran’s service caused the condition, so disability benefits can be swiftly granted. PFAS at Military Installations “From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals,” the VA website reports. Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1953 through December 1987—and their family members—can get health care benefits. Christian: That’s the effect of the effective date. Our attorneys are VA-accredited and are here to help you get the disability benefits you deserve. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Right? Active duty, reserve, and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, N.C. for a minimum of 30 days … You can also show any. The same water was used for cooking, cleaning, and showering. The VA has enacted special provisions for obtaining disability compensation for exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water. Where we get started. You actually fax it or send it to a different address which is located on the forms. From 1953 to 1987, water sources at the base were contaminated with industrial solvents that are correlated with certain health conditions. But still no veterans were allowed disability aid or survivor benefits. There is Adult Leukemia, there’s a Plastic Anemia, Bladder Cancer, Kidney Cancer, Liver Cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and Parkinson’s Disease. There were industrial areas spills and waste disposal sites. So that’s just something to be very mindful of, but again, you will need that medical opinion. And Michelle, I’m gonna turn it over to you to talk a little bit more about the medical conditions and the medical benefits. So, whereas family members can only get healthcare benefits. If you can show you served at Camp Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987, for 30 days or more, you are now eligible to file fast-track VA disability compensation claims for one or more those eight conditions. Veterans with successful Camp Lejeune water contamination claims can receive over $2,900 a month from the Veterans Administration. IB 10-449 Camp Lejeune Water Contamination July 2019 Author: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Subject: On August 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. Michelle: Yeah. Indicate that you’re applying for one or more of the presumed Camp Lejeune conditions; medical evidence of at least one presumptive condition (you need a current diagnosis of the condition you’re claiming); military records showing you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days during the period of contamination, while on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves; Claims also can be filed electronically through eBenefits. One of the presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune water contamination is liver cancer. Since they were stationed at Camp Lejeune, the VA is responsible for providing VA compensation for disabilities that were a result of the contaminated drinking water. The other thing I wanted to note is that if someone is a survivor, surviving spouse or a surviving dependent child of a veteran, that they would similarly be entitled to benefits as they would for compensation benefits. From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals. So VA began to review conditions affecting these veterans. VA compensation for disabilities arising from Camp Lejeune contamination. VA published a final interim rule today regarding Camp Lejeune Water Contaminated Veterans, 82 FR 4173. Christian: So if you filed and we’re gonna get into this. I don’t think, I haven’t particularly, I don’t know of anything like on the, on the horizon that would change the presumptive conditions. Did you take ZANTAC regularly and later develop cancer? And they give you the option of mailing it or faxing it. And have certain disabilities to get service connection and compensation for those disabilities. YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR VA HEALTH BENEFITS IF YOU … Water lines for a small unit water purification system prototype draw water from a reservoir at Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 9, 2014. The health and welfare of service members, veterans, civilians, and their families is the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) leading priority. a certified practice advisor with Atticus, an organization that provides business training and management skills So if you all don’t have anything else? Christine: Exactly. Laura has put her efforts and paralegal skills into getting prostate cancer recognized by the Veterans Affairs Department as an illness that could have been caused by Camp LeJeune’s contaminated water. As a Veteran, you may have been exposed to a range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during military service. We have information, on our website about and we’re gonna get into direct service connection in general. For decades fuel, dry cleaning agents, and other contaminates leaked into the groundwater which the base used. PAUL PETERSON/U.S. Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between the mid-1950s and mid-1980s may qualify for disability benefits or an increased disability rating under a new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule. Very, very straightforward. Christine: No, there’s just the form that you use to file a claim generally for benefits from the veterans’ benefits administration. So something I also thought was interesting. That’s a really great point. Marc Whitehead has been practicing law for over 27 years in Houston, focusing exclusively on disability law. Navy to deny all civil claims related to Camp Lejeune water contamination "We are denying the claims to free everybody to take their own course of action," Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer said. For survivor’s benefits based on these conditions under the presumption and they could also file again with that, that direct theory. And I’m just gonna read from the list cause I don’t have this memorized. For recent claim denials, you will likely be able to appeal your claim through the new VA appeals system. VA has made it a little bit easier for veterans that were at Camp Lejeune. So a spouse, a child, you also needed to be residing at Camp Lejeune as well for 30 cumulative days. Camp LeJeune and VA Benefits. Absolutely. Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune. In 2017, the Obama administration agreed to provide disability benefits totaling more than $2 billion to the veterans who had been exposed to the tainted drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune. File using VA Form 21-526EZ. Michelle: So one of the things I think is important, is to have the medical documentation. Camp Lejeune veterans can file claims as directed on the VA website, which will request the following: These claims can be difficult to win. Attention Camp Lejeune veterans and families: If you’ve been watching our blog, you know we have been keeping up to date on the proposed VA rules to provide VA disability compensation to Marines exposed to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune toxic water. For example, Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune from the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water on the base. And that granted some benefits to families who had been exposed. Yeah. You know, when we’re talking about agent orange exposure, we’re talking about like, you know, 12 year period approximately, right? VA Plans to Propose Expanded Disability Benefits Eligibility for Veterans Exposed to. But there’s also evidence that you want to show when submitting your application. So when they first came out, they gave 15 conditions. So you know, these conditions both, for medical benefits and for disability benefits. His firm, Marc Whitehead & Associates files applications and appeals denials for Long-Term Disability insurance This was the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (Camp Lejeune Act). The VA website recognizes veterans who served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River for 30 cumulative days from August 1953 … (2010) [hereinafter Camp Lejeune Hearing] (statement of Thomas J. Pamperin, Associate Deputy Under . One reason is to ensure consistency with the 2012 Camp Lejeune Act, which enacted the 30-day service requirement for VA health care. I was surprised that you don’t actually fax it to the evidence intake center. So we’re talking 1953 to 1987 then you also needed to be a dependent of the veteran at the time. Thank you very much for tuning into another edition of CCK’s Facebook live. A Second Look at Saunders v. Wilkie, Additional Benefits for 100% Disabled Veterans, Federal Circuit Court Rules Veterans Can Get Disability Benefits for Pain, CCK Secures Service Connection for Retinitis Pigmentosa in CUE Claim Dating Back to 1981. Filing a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Claim. Countless stories, complaints, and lawsuits ensued from veterans and their loved ones who, years after their time at Camp Lejeune, had developed devastating cancers and diseases. And the thing that I think we’ve all talked about offline finding pretty interesting is that the Wells that they had on base. There is some overlap between the two. And as in most cases, the evidence that’s gonna help you most and this is sort of related to what you were talking about, Michelle, evidence that you were there for the required amount of time. Do You Qualify for Long Term Disability Benefits? The way that the law works is going to be a little bit different. Christian: Because the toxic chemicals didn’t start causing Parkinson’s disease on March, whatever day 2017. VA announced today that it plans to propose expanded disability compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Is Social Security Disability Back Pay Taxable? The area included in the presumption is all of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, including satellite camps and housing areas. The identified source of the contamination was poor waste disposal practices at an off-base dry cleaning company. You’re actually going to be sending it to a different place. That evidence that formed the basis, of the law change can also be submitted, related to a claim for direct service connection. Camp LeJeune and VA Benefits. But considering the VA’s track record for Camp Lejeune denials and the staggering backlog of claims, the 30-day requirement will be one of the initial boxes to check off when looking for reasons to weed out and nullify claims. Read about the types of service that may have resulted in exposure to certain hazards. So we’re going to turn to that now though. So it’s a pretty unique situation actually. If you need assistance with filing your claim or appealing a denial, don’t hesitate to give us a call. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on 1/13/2017, Diseases Associated with Exposure to Contaminants in the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune. It’s just, you don’t have that presumption, so you will have to get that medical nexus or medical opinion linking your condition to your exposure. These benefits are available to eligible veterans and family members who lived in base housing during the specified period. VA established a presumption for veterans who served at Camp Lejeune for 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, due to veterans’ exposure to contaminated drinking water on the base. Veterans disability compensation The Camp Lejeune Act of 2012 provides health care and health care funding assistance to Veterans and family water supply at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Michelle: Yeah, I think it’s very unique to see them first come out with healthcare benefits. So before we get into the law and all the conditions that are associated with what happened in Camp Lejeune, Lejeune, excuse me, it’s not the first time or the only time I’m going to do that. Even as we work remotely way that the, it might change DCE and these byproducts! Submitting your application, there ’ s benefits based on these conditions, “ other factors! March 2017, they gave 15 conditions evidence that you don ’ t know there going! 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