VA Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Compensation

The VA has authorized new, additional compensation for individuals (including service members, family members, and civilians) injured by exposure to toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

With the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, part of the Honoring our PACT Act, in August 2022, Congress has opened the doors for individuals (and their family members) injured by toxic drinking water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina to receive compensation for their injuries. Individuals are now eligible for disability payments, healthcare, and compensation based on injuries caused by spending more than 30 days serving, living, or working at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Service members, family members, and civilians who worked at Camp Lejeune during this time period and have developed serious illness, cancer, suffered a miscarriage or birth defects, are eligible to file a claim.

Who can file a claim?

Service members, family members, or civilians (and relatives or representatives of deceased service members, family members, or civilians) who were stationed at, lived at, or worked at Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987.

What conditions are linked to time at Camp Lejeune?

Many chronic illnesses, neurological conditions, reproductive disorders, and cancers are now recognized as connected to exposure to toxic chemicals present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.

Cancers: The following cancers have been linked to exposure to chemicals present at Camp Lejeune:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain/central nervous system (CNS) cancers
  • Breast cancer (male and female)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Soft tissue cancer

Non-cancerous conditions: The following other conditions are also recognized as linked to exposure to the drinking water at Camp Lejeune:

  • Aplastic Anemia
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Infertility
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Scleroderma

Birth Defects and reproductive disorders: Additionally, birth defects in children of those who spent time at Camp Lejeune have been linked to the parent’s exposure, including:

  • Cardiac birth defects
  • Choanal atresia
  • Female infertility
  • Fetal death
  • Infertility
  • Low birth weight
  • Major malformations
  • Miscarriage
  • Neural tube defects
  • Oral cleft defects
  • Reproductive cancers

Other conditions not listed here may still be a result of exposure to toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune. Contact one of our specialists to discuss your condition and its possible link to exposure to these chemicals.

Why file a claim?

Individuals injured by exposure are now eligible for several types of compensation based on their exposure. The new legislation now allows veterans, family members, and others to file lawsuits for damages as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals contained in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. This allows individuals, including those who already received compensation through the VA, to receive additional compensation for their injuries. As previously, service members may receive Disability Compensation based on the injuries caused by exposure, and family members may receive healthcare benefits and reimbursement.

I’ve filed a claim in the past, should I file again?

Even if you already received VA Disability Compensation or VA healthcare coverage as a family member or civilian injured at Camp Lejeune, you may be able to receive additional compensation under the new legislation.

What if I was not diagnosed with one of the above conditions?

Although you will need to prove that you were injured or suffered an illness as a result of exposure to chemicals at Camp Lejeune, you do not need to have a current diagnosis of one of the above conditions to contact us and discuss a potential claim. Other conditions outside of those listed may be related to exposure. Other, undiagnosed conditions may also be linked to exposure. The common symptoms associated with exposure to the chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune are:

  • Confusion
  • Cramping
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Skin infections (like dermatitis or impetigo)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vomiting

If you experienced any of these symptoms following exposure at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, please contact your healthcare provider to receive treatment for your conditions, and our office for more information about the possibility of filing a claim.

What caused these conditions?

Known carcinogenic chemicals were discovered in the drinking water of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 1982. Known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contamination with these substances had actually begun in 1953 and continued to expose workers, service members, and their families until 1987, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), though the most contaminated wells were removed from service in February 1985.

The chemicals discovered in the drinking water notably included:

  • Benzene: Used to make other chemicals that compose plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers
  • Tetrachloroethylene (also known as ​​perchloroethylene or PCE): For dry cleaning and metal degreasing
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE): A solvent used to clean metal parts
  • Vinyl chloride (VC): Over time, TCE and PCE in groundwater degrade to become VC

Exposure to these substances can have serious, life-long impact on health, and the full effects of such exposure are still being researched. Long-term exposure may lead to chronic illness, neurological conditions, cancer, and birth defects in children. Please see above for a full list of recognized conditions which may be caused by exposure to these chemicals.

Contact us

Whether you are a service member seeking to increase you Disability Compensation due to conditions caused by this or other service-related exposures, a family member who was exposed on base, a family member of a veteran injured by service at Camp Lejeune, or worked on base and now suffer from illness or injury due to your time at Camp Lejeune, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your conditions and your options for healthcare and compensation for your condition.