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Filing a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit will not affect or reduce the VA benefits you're already getting in any way. If you are receiving disability benefits from the VA, and you receive a settlement or judgment in a lawsuit for a disability that is related to your service at Camp Lejeune, the VA may review your benefits to determine if they are still appropriate.
If you are concerned about how filing a lawsuit may affect your VA benefits, it is recommended that you speak with our attorneys at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, who are experienced in handling these types of cases.
We offer complete guidance and support throughout the claim process. Our responsive team will give you a quick answer whenever you have a question.
Why Choose Schmidt & Clark, LLP for Your Claim
- We have over 20 years of experience representing injured people in their claims against large corporations and government agencies.
- Our lawyers represent victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune in the United States.
- Our firm will deal with every aspect of your case on your behalf and guide you through every stage of litigation.
- Filing a lawsuit for injuries received while on active duty at Camp Lejeune will not affect your VA benefits.
- Filing a lawsuit is the first step to obtaining compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.
- While the process of filing a lawsuit can be daunting, it is essential to know that you can file a lawsuit against the federal government without affecting your VA benefits.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
With the passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, individuals exposed to contaminated water and families affected in Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987 will be eligible for the Camp Lejeune settlement payouts.
President Joe Biden signed the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act into law on August 10, 2022. This vital piece of legislation often referred to as the PACT Act, also contains the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Schmidt & Clark, LLP lawyers are currently reviewing claims from individuals who meet these criteria:
- You have served, lived, or worked at the Marine Corps Camp Lejeune base for not less than 30 days between 1957 and 1987.
- You were diagnosed with certain diseases like; adult leukemia, Aplastic anemia, Parkinson's disease, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, other myelodysplastic syndromes, and other health problems.
- You have medical records to support your illness, injury, or medical conditions.
If you meet these criteria, you may be compensated for injury caused by contaminated water. Schmidt & Clark, LLP lawyers are currently taking cases and can assist you in filing your claim to recover the damage you deserve.
Our lawyers have plenty of experience and can help you get the justice you deserve.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
Victims of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune only have two years from signing the Camp Lejeune justice act into law to file their lawsuit.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (PACT Act) was passed into law on August 10, 2022, allowing anyone who meets specific criteria to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit, whether civilian workers or military veterans.
Water contamination claims will not be accepted after August 10, 2024. Veterans and their families will want to keep this deadline in mind, but taking action as early as possible is better if you want to be sure you will get your disability compensation. Your financial compensation may also depend on your disability rating.
Affected veterans must file their lawsuits through the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
As with accessing benefits through the VA, individuals should provide medical evidence of their exposure to toxic water and receipt of health care expenses at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, our experienced Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawyers retrieve important medical and military documents to support your case. Our lawyers will make a solid case for you and alert you when the case is ready to be submitted.
A lawyer from Schmidt & Clark, LLP, will work with the Federal court and submit any additional information requested to ensure you receive financial compensation as soon as possible.
Can I Lose My VA Benefits if I File a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit?
No, filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will not take away your VA benefits.
If you file a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, not only would you be compensated under this act, but you will still receive your monthly compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act work hand in hand to help you maximize your healthcare compensation for the injury the contaminated water caused.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 may allow Camp Lejeune families to recover damages not covered by their VA benefits, such as loss of income, pain, and suffering.
In particular, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, 2022 says:
“Any award made to an individual, or legal representative of an individual, under this section shall be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment, or benefit provided to the individual, or legal representative— under [the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Medicare, and/or Medicaid].”
Therefore, the act is structured so that you can be compensated for your injuries (physical, mental, financial) and then subtract this amount from any amount you have received through the VA benefits.
However, under no circumstances would the Department of Veterans Affairs cease to provide you with the benefits you already receive.
In addition, if your Veteran Affairs benefits are the result of injuries that are not in any way related to the injuries you have suffered due to exposure to Camp Lejeune, compensation may not be applicable.
What Are the VA Benefits for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Victims
The VA benefits available for Camp Lejeune water contamination victims are disability compensation and reimbursement for personal healthcare costs. Reserve, active-duty military personnel and the national guard can all benefit.
VA disability benefits are only available to veterans, and veterans and their families may be eligible for health care benefits.
Health care benefits don’t include compensation payments, but the VA may reimburse Veterans or family members for medical costs for 15 presumptive conditions.
Under The Camp Lejeune Act of 2012, a Veteran or family member that has spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and has one of the 15 presumptive conditions is eligible for VA health care enrollment.
Healthcare benefits and financial support are available to those with any one of the following presumptive illnesses:
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Lung cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Adult Leukemia aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
If you have been refused disability benefits due to a service-related illness at Camp Lejeune, contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP today to discuss your legal options.
See all related toxic tort cases our attorneys have taken on.
How to Apply for VA Disability Benefits?
There are 3 ways to apply for VA disability benefits:
- Submit your claim online at VA.gov.
- Ask for the assistance of a certified representative, such as a Veterans Service Agent.
- Contact a regional VA office for assistance.
When applying, ensure that you indicate that you are applying specifically for one or more of Camp Lejeune's presumptive diseases.
Before applying, make sure you have the following documents:
- Evidence of service, like a military record showing you served in Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River. Records should indicate that you lived a minimum of 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987.
- Evidence of diagnosis of one or more of the eight conditions on the VA's list of disabilities. Medical records or doctor's reports will work.
Veterans interested in applying for disability benefits related to conditions other than presumptive conditions may still apply.
Veterans must provide an updated medical diagnosis and evidence of a link between their non-presumptive condition and the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, like current science or expert opinion.
What Documents Do I Need for VA Disability Benefits?
The proof you must provide to the VA to demonstrate eligibility for reimbursement or health benefits is slightly different for veterans and their families. Immediate family members produce documents attesting that they have a dependent relationship with a veteran living at Camp LeJeune.
Documents can include a birth certificate or a marriage license. Then there must be documentation indicating that the veterans and their families have lived on the base for 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
For example, orders, housing records, or other documents that show your residence status at the time.
For reimbursement cases, you must provide documentation indicating payment for health charges for the eligible health conditions. You can be reimbursed for health and medical expenses up to two years before the claim date.
Also, there must be medical proof that you have a health condition on the list.
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, our Injury Lawyers can assist you in applying for VA health and disability benefits and claiming a financial settlement through a lawsuit.
What Documents Can I Collect to Use as Evidence in a Case Involving Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
You will require medical documentation of your diagnosis and records of each invoice you received for care.
Veterans need records of service, payroll statements, and work records indicating time spent at Camp Lejeune and income lost due to illness.
What Damages Will Be Awarded in Settlement Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
You should be compensated for each medical invoice in the past and those expected in the future. Your loss of income and benefits should be paid back.
You will also receive support for traumatic physical and emotional experiences by you and your family.
What Kinds of Emotional Trauma Are Eligible for Compensation Under the Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Claim?
The kind of emotional trauma eligible for compensation under the Camp Lejeune contaminated water claim includes:
- loss of enjoyment of life
- Inability to engage in leisure and family activities
- Loss of intimacy with one's partner
- Loss of a baby or incapacity for conception.
How Does a Veteran Lose His VA Benefits?
Veterans can lose their VA benefits if they are convicted of a felony and imprisoned for more than 60 days.
In this case, their disability compensation payments would be reduced as follows:
- For a veteran rated 20 percent, their payments would be limited to the 10 percent disability rate.
- For a veteran whose disability rating is 10 percent, their payment would be reduced by one-half.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured or fallen ill as a result of living at Camp Lejeune, our lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help.
We've been helping families get justice for 20 years, and we have the experience and knowledge needed to make sure that your claim is thoroughly evaluated.
Our lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP are standing by to provide you with a free consultation. All you have to do is call us or contact us online to set up an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.