Camp LeJeune vets eligible for benefits | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | July 29, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: July 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm
By JANET SMITH
From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene and other chemicals.
You may be eligible for VA health benefits if you served on active duty or have family members who resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987.
Veterans who are determined to be eligible will be able to receive VA health care for 15 qualifying health conditions at no cost to the veteran (including copayments).
VA is also reimbursing family members for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the 15 covered conditions. VA can only pay for treatment after you have received payment from all your other health plans.
15 Qualifying health conditions include:
Veterans must file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The Department of Veterans Affairs will decide these claims on a case-by-case basis. If you were previously denied, you may file for a re-evaluation.
Enrollment is required to receive VA health care. Contact the Veterans Affairs Office to enroll. You may also apply online at vet.gov or call 1-877-222-8387 for assistance.
The Colleton County Veterans Affairs Office is located in the Bernard Warshaw Complex at 219 South Lemacks Street, Suite 124, Walterboro. If you wish to file a claim for benefits or need other assistance regarding VA benefits, please stop in or call 843 549-1412 to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to assist you.
(Janet D. Smith is the director of the Colleton County Veterans Affairs Office.)