VA Benefits for Lung Cancer Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

VA Benefits for Lung Cancer Caused by Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Lung Canver

Veterans and their family members who were stationed at or near Camp Lejeune are at heightened risk of lung cancer due to toxic exposure to various toxic chemicals in the drinking supply from the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s. The main chemicals were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, which are only a few of many chemicals that leaked into the water supply and put service members and their family members at a heightened risk of several serious medical conditions.

The extensive harm caused by Camp Lejeune toxic exposure led to the creation of the Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, which provides for financial assistance for healthcare costs, and establishes a presumptive service connection for some medical conditions, meaning veterans would not need to provide a medical nexus linking their diagnoses with an in-service event, injury, or illness.

VA Healthcare Benefits for Conditions Linked to Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure

Service members and their family members, including children who were in utero, who were at Camp Lejeune or the nearby Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) New River for a period of no fewer than 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals in their water supply.

The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 places lung cancer 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. 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
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (presumptive)
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer (presumptive)
  • Leukemia (presumptive)
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (presumptive)
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Service Connection and VA Disability Benefits for Lung Cancer

Lung cancer makes for an interesting subtopic related to Camp Lejeune toxic exposure. While veterans and their family members can file claims for financial compensation related to healthcare associated with lung cancer treatment, VA has not established a presumptive service condition for lung cancer for Camp Lejeune toxic exposure.

VA does list lung cancer as a presumptive condition for veterans exposed to Agent Orange or burn pits in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which means those veterans do not need to provide a nexus—or link—between their diagnosis and an in-service event, injury, or illness. For these veterans, it is assumed that Agent Orange and burn pit exposure caused or exacerbated their condition. Such a presumption is not granted to Camp Lejeune veterans based on the existing evidence connecting exposure to lung cancer.

This does not mean there is no hope for Camp Lejeune veterans. It simply means you must file a claim for VA monthly disability compensation and provide a medical nexus linking your diagnosis to your service history. This can be accomplished through medical documentation from your doctor as well as well-documented service history records and buddy statements.

Should you need to pursue monthly VA disability compensation for a lung cancer diagnosis, VA rates all respiratory cancers according to the stage of treatment. Veterans who are currently undergoing treatment are granted a 100% disability rating. This extends for the 6 months past the final treatment, after which your condition is assessed and your disability rating will be adjusted in increments of 10% based on the residual effects of your cancer. If your cancer goes into remission, then your disability rating will drop to 0%.

Assistance With Your Claim

Lung cancer is one of many serious medical conditions linked to Camp Lejeune toxic exposure. For assistance with your claim or appeal for financial compensation or VA disability benefits related to Camp Lejeune toxic exposure, contact VA Disability Group PLLC at 844-VET-LAWS or write to us online today</>.