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VA Publishes Regulations for Establishing Presumptive Service Connection to Veterans Exposed to Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water

Posted on January 16, 2017 by Disability Help Group

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created new regulations regarding a presumptive service connection for Camp Lejeune veterans suffering from certain illnesses.

What is the presumptive service connection?

A presumptive service connection assumes a link between a disease and a veteran’s service. After investigations of the Camp Lejeune water supply contamination from the 1950s to 1980s, the VA established a connection between the toxic exposure and several illnesses.

Veterans might qualify for automatic service connection of the following conditions if they served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Parkinson’s disease

The camp investigations determined toxic contaminants existed in the camp’s water supply during the periods listed above. As more veterans developed these diseases, the VA began to take action, passing the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

Camp Lejeune veterans and military family members who lived at the camp during the designated timeframe should contact their local VA to determine eligibility for medical care and benefits.

According to the VA, this new rule will be effective 60 days after “publication in the Federal Register or following conclusion of the 60-day Congressional Review, whichever is later.”

Service-Connected Diseases and Injuries Qualify Most Veterans for Disability Benefits

Veterans with a clean discharge record and proof that their injury or illness occurred due to their military service are entitled to veterans’ disability benefits.

If the VA denied your benefits application or you need help with your initial application, contact the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates today.