At long last, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has announced that it is granting presumptive service connected disability status to eight diseases for veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987.
For years, DVA has denied compensation to veterans and their survivors but now, in the face of overwhelming evidence, they are going to grant disability or survivorship benefits to vets and their dependent survivors if they can prove that they were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 19523 and 1987 and were/are afflicted with one of eight (8) diseases. Those diseases are: kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, scleroderma, Parkinson’s disease and aplastic anemia or other myelodysplastic syndromes.
DVA still must promulgate a formal rule to implement this change in policy and that process will take up to one year. Payment of compensation will not be forthcoming until the rule is effective, but the vet or his/her survivor should submit a claim as soon as possible with proof of service at Camp Lejeune and a medical diagnosis of one or more of the eight diseases referenced above.
Indeed, the victims of this tragedy waited far too long for justice.