If you or a loved one were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, you may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water. The water was contaminated with various chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), which have been linked to various health issues, including cancer. If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition related to Camp Lejeune contamination, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Here's what you need to know:
1. Understand the Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for compensation, you must have been stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Eligibility typically includes being a veteran, service member, or family member who lived or served at Camp Lejeune.
You must also have been diagnosed with one of the following health conditions:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Parkinson's disease
2. Identify the Responsible Party
In cases of Camp Lejeune water contamination, the U.S. government acknowledges responsibility. However, if you believe that another party, such as a contractor, is also responsible, consult with a lawyer experienced in environmental law to understand your options.
3. Gather Your Supporting Documentation
Collect any relevant documents that can support your claim, such as service records, medical records, proof of residence or service at Camp Lejeune, and evidence linking your health conditions to the contaminated water. This documentation will strengthen your case.
You will need to provide medical evidence that links your health condition to Camp Lejeune contamination. You will need to gather your medical records, including diagnostic test results, pathology reports, and treatment records. You may also need to provide a statement from your treating physician linking your health condition to Camp Lejeune contamination.
4. File a Claim With the Appropriate Agency
To file a claim, you will need to submit a completed Standard Form 95 (SF-95) to the appropriate government agency. You can file your claim online or by mail.
Depending on the type of claim, you may need to file with different agencies. Here are a few possibilities:
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): If you are a veteran or service member seeking disability compensation or healthcare benefits, contact the VA. Submit the necessary forms, such as the Application for Disability Compensation or Application for Health Benefits, along with supporting documentation.
Marine Corps Family Member Program (MCFMP): If you are a family member seeking healthcare benefits, you may need to contact the MCFMP for enrollment and guidance.
Agency handling lawsuits: If you decide to pursue legal action against the responsible party, your lawyer will guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit in the appropriate court.
It's important to note that there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a claim, so it's important to act quickly.
5. Follow Up on Your Claim
Stay in regular contact with the agency or lawyer handling your claim to inquire about its status. Be prepared to provide additional information or attend medical examinations, if requested.
6. Work with an Experienced Attorney
Filing a claim for Camp Lejeune contamination can be a complex and time-consuming process. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure that your claim is filed correctly and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Mann Blake & Jackson Law has experience helping clients file claims for Camp Lejeune contamination and can help guide you through the process.
Contact Mann Blake & Jackson Law today to learn more about filing a claim for Camp Lejeune contamination.