Hepatic steatosis, also called fatty liver disease, means that you have extra fat in your liver, which may lead to problems such as inflammation, cell damage, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. The two main types of hepatic steatosis are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which simply occurs without any behavioral risk factors, and alcoholic-related fatty liver disease (ALD), which is largely caused by heavy alcohol consumption.
While alcohol use is an important risk factor alongside genetics, age, obesity, and malnourishment, toxic exposure from Camp Lejeune has also been linked to hepatic steatosis (particularly NAFLD). Veterans and their family member who have been diagnosed with hepatic steatosis, and who meet certain criteria, may be eligible for cost-free health care through VA and financial compensation.
The main toxic chemicals found at Camp Lejeune were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These and other toxins leaked into the water supply from the area’s two water treatment plants. TCE and vinyl chloride have been linked most closely to liver damage, and are the likely culprits behind Camp Lejeune veterans’ NAFLD.
Eligibility for Healthcare Benefits and Financial Compensation
Veterans and their family members who have been diagnosed with hepatic steatosis due to Camp Lejeune toxic exposure must meet two criteria.
First, service members and their family members (including children who were in utero) must have been stationed at or near Camp Lejeune or the nearby Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) New River for a period of no fewer than 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
Second, you must have proof of a diagnosis for hepatic steatosis, along with overwhelming evidence that toxic exposure is to blame, and not other more common factors. It is crucial that you meet these criteria and diligently collect medical records to back up your claim.
VA Healthcare Benefits for Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure
The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 places hepatic steatosis on a list of conditions that have been linked to this toxic exposure, and for which veterans may apply for cost-free healthcare from VA.
Hepatic steatosis does not, however, belong on the list of presumptive conditions associated with Camp Lejeune toxic exposure. If you wish to pursue a service connection and disability benefits from VA for hepatic steatosis, you must follow the regular VA disability claims process.
The full list of conditions for which VA will cover out of pocket healthcare expenses, and SOME of which VA will consider for presumptive service connection, include:
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer (presumptive)
- Multiple myeloma (presumptive)
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (presumptive)
- Lung cancer
- Bladder cancer (presumptive)
- Leukemia (presumptive)
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (presumptive)
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
File a Lawsuit According to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which was part of the Honoring Our PACT Act, offers another way to pursue financial compensation for harm caused by toxic exposure. It allows you to file suit against the United State government for appropriate relief against harm caused by toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune.
Financial renumeration is not limited to healthcare costs, but takes into account the complete effect of the toxic exposure to your life and livelihood. You can, for instance, file suit to make up for lost wages, potential losses, retirement savings, and other financial losses.
Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is open to civilians as well as service members and their family members. Anyone who may have been affected by Camp Lejeune toxic exposure may file suit to seek restitution for financial losses and pain and suffering on top of medical expenses.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuits and VA Disability Compensation
VA assures veterans that filing a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will in no way affect your eligibility for VA disability compensation or other financial compensation.
The one caveat is that if you win suit against the government, your financial reward from that lawsuit may take into account any compensation you have previously received, or are currently receiving from, VA.
Assistance With Your Claim
Hepatic steatosis can cause enough discomfort on its own, and lead to far more serious medical conditions. If you have been diagnosed with this condition due to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune and meet the eligibility criteria to seek compensation, you should do so immediately.
VA Disability Group PLLC is here to help you build your claim and file suit now. Contact us at 844-VET-LAWS or write to us online to start the process and get you the financial compensation and healthcare benefits you deserve.