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Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps base in North Carolina, was the site of severe water contamination for over three decades. Between January 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, water sources at the camp were contaminated by industrial activities and dry cleaning facilities. Sadly, over one million veterans and their families were exposed to chemicals like trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, along with other contaminants.

The families living in Camp Lejeune cooked with, drank and bathed in the toxic water. As a result, many of them developed serious medical conditions. In 2017, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) finalized a Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule to help Veterans affected by the toxic water get the disability compensation they deserve.

What is the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule?

The Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule is a document released by the VA. It states the eight diseases presumed to be service-connected and explains who is eligible for disability compensation. The rule went into effect on March 14, 2017.

What does “presumption of service-connection” mean?

“Presumption of service-connection” means that the VA automatically assumes the listed illnesses were caused by military service. In other words, as long as an eligible service-member can prove they have one of these eight diseases, they are entitled to disability compensation.

Who does the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule apply to?

You may be eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Are a Veteran, former Reservist, or former National Guard member who was honorably discharged
  • Were stationed anywhere within the borders of U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, North Carolina
  • Served between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 for at least 30 days.

Unfortunately, the rule does not apply to family members who lived on the base. However, our Camp Lejeune attorneys may be able to help spouses and children of Marines who served at the North Carolina base during the time period specified.

What illnesses does the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule cover?

The VA considers these diseases as presumptive service-connected for Camp Lejeune Veterans, former Reservists and former National Guard members:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Adult leukemia (i.e. leukemia developed after qualifying exposure at Camp Lejeune)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer

The VA does not give a date by which these diseases must come about.

How do I get disability compensation?

If you think you are eligible for disability compensation under the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases rule, you need to file a claim with the VA. There are three ways to file a claim:

  • Online at
  • An accredited representative, such as a Veterans service officer
  • VA regional office

When you file your claim, the VA will ask you to submit the following as evidence:

  • Military records proving that you were on active duty at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River from August 1953 to December 1987 for at least 30 days
  • Medical records stating that you have at least one of the eight presumptive illnesses.

What other illnesses can I get compensation for?

There are many other diseases not listed in the Camp Lejeune Presumptive Diseases Rule that victims of toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune may suffer from, such as:

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

Although the VA decided there was not enough evidence for presumptive service-connection, veterans with these illnesses can still receive coverage through VA health care.

Why should I hire an attorney?

The VA provides disability compensation for only a small group of people who may have suffered from exposure to contaminated water. Now, thousands of people are coming forward to file Camp Lejeune Water Contamination claims as a part of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. In addition, those who have previously filed claims and were denied will have two years to file another claim to get the justice they deserve.

Anyone who lived, served, or worked on the Camp Lejeune base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1957 is eligible to file a claim as part of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. If you want to file a claim, you’ll also want a knowledgeable and experienced legal team to help you. Your attorney will have the knowledge to deal with extensive paperwork, track down medical records, and collect other forms of evidence.

The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

Justice for victims of Camp Lejeune contaminated water is long overdue. If you served, lived or worked on the Camp Lejeune base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, we can help.

Contact us at 866-441-1417 for a free consultation, or use the chat feature to schedule your free consultation.


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