The US Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced new benefit eligibility for Camp Lejeune Veterans that is proposed to take effect on March 14, 2017. Disability benefits will be granted for eight diseases for any Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard personnel who served at least 30 days (cumulative) at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. Widow/widowers of the service personnel who died as a result of being afflicted with the associated diseases will also be eligible for death benefits including a monthly stipend and possible free health insurance for life.
Diseases part of the eligibility include;
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
In the early 1980s, volatile organic compounds, trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, as well as benzene and vinyl chloride, were discovered in two on-base water supply systems at Camp Lejeune. The contaminated wells supplying the water systems were shut down in February 1985. The area included in this presumption is all of Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River, including satellite camps and housing areas.
The proposed rule will become effective 60-days from the January 13, 2017 proposal or 60-days after final Congressional review.
Service personnel & widows/widowers who meet the 30-day at Camp Lejeune requirement and have been diagnosed with a listed condition are encouraged to contact their County Veterans Service Officer immediately for application information. Minnesota Services Officers can be found by visiting www.macvso.org. Blue Earth County Veteran Services can be contacted directly by calling (507) 304-4246 or visiting www.blueearthcountymn.gov/veterans.