It’s no secret military personnel at Camp Lejeune were exposed to dangerous chemicals, and potential victims can seek compensation. However, there’s a morally reprehensible school of thought that VA offices have resorted to: “Deny until you die” (DUYD). It’s a means of discrediting victims until they give up or physically pass away.
This is likely to become less of a problem as time progresses, but it’s still an issue, and those seeking compensation should hire a lawyer to ensure they receive what they’re entitled to. This post will explore this topic in further detail.
A reminder of the Camp Lejeune contamination
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act, signed by President Biden, is aimed to help veterans (and their loved ones) harmed by the contaminated water at the Marine base of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from 1953 to 1987. The water testing during the period discovered the presence of hazardous chemicals and toxins, including benzene, perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride. Many service members and their families reported devastating health conditions associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply, including various cancers, birth defects, neurological disorders, and life-threatening trauma.
VA claims process
Veterans can seek compensation from Veterans Affairs (VA) to claim damages, such as medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity, and emotional stress, as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals at Camp Lejeune. To seek disability benefits related to exposure to toxic water at the camp, veterans need to meet certain strict eligibility requirements:
- you had a qualifying service at Camp Lejeune;
- you served at Camp for at least thirty cumulative days from August 1953 through December 1987;
- you didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge when you separated from the military;
- you have a diagnosis of one or more VA-approved presumptive health conditions.
It’s important to note that VA benefits are only available to veterans who file a claim. Families and civilians impacted by the Camp Lejeune water contamination didn’t receive compensation until August 2022. Since then, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows anyone to sue the US Government for compensation.
A look at the DUYD behavior of VA offices
You may think you can conveniently receive benefits by filing a VA claim if you stayed at Camp Lejeune and became ill. But that’s not always the case. Many people complain about the VA’s broken claims system. The VA has denied or delayed benefits to eligible claimants with novel illnesses. In some cases, the VA may not recognize your illness as a presumptive condition. With repeated appeals, many veterans have spent long years waiting for due relief.
Why eligible victims need a lawyer
If you need help filing a claim, appeal, or Camp Lejeune lawsuit you may want to work with an accredited attorney who’s trained and certified in the VA claims process. You must file a claim within two years from August 10, 2022. And since the claims process is complex with no frame of reference—Camp Lejeune being a unique case—it’s important to seek help from an expert lawyer. Besides, claims can be denied if you miss important documents and details.
Connect with LegalASAP
If you’re struggling to choose a personal injury attorney to file for your VA claim or Camp Lejeune lawsuit, LegalASAP can refer you to a certified lawyer with the required specialty and experience to ensure you get the benefits you deserve. Our team can help you understand your legal rights, identify all necessary documents, counteract denied claims and maximize your financial recovery. Contact LegalASAP today for a free evaluation of your case.