New VA Ruling Covers Camp Lejeune Cases

December 18, 2015

After years of controversy and review, the Veterans Administration (VA) has finally issued a ruling that certain diseases incurred by people with past service at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be presumed to be service-caused.  

VA investigators recently finished a study of medical conditions that could have been related to drinking water at Lejeune. They concluded contaminated drinking water at the base directly affected health conditions of roughly a million people - servicemembers, family members, and civilians stationed there during specific dates from the 1950s to the '80s.   

Specifically, they found eight different diseases are linked to contaminated drinking water at Lejeune:  kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, scleroderma, Parkinson's disease, and aplastic anemia.  

As a result, the VA will now presume that any of those conditions experienced by people who served there were caused by that service.  

The ruling applies to servicemembers, family members, and civilians with one of these conditions and who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. It also includes Reserve and National Guard members.  

The new announcement doesn't mean all claims for the affected diseases will be approved immediately or that there will be any retroactive approvals. The VA first has to issue an updated regulation, and the new rule will be applied to new disability claims.  

The VA will put any pending Lejeune-related claims on hold until the new regulation is issued.  

People who have submitted potentially eligible claims that were denied previously can resubmit claims for consideration under the new rules.  

This is good and important news for many, many MOAA members and others. If you know of others who are potentially affected, please forward this information to them.  

We'll keep you posted when the VA publishes the updated regulations.



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