Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Tom Philpott: Camp Lejeune veterans could get benefits

March 26, 2017 Updated: March 31, 2017 at 8:19 am
0
photo -

The Marine Corps has begun outreach to hundreds of thousands of veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, N.C., at least 30 days from August 1953 to December 1987, inviting them or surviving spouses to file for VA compensation if veterans suffered one of eight ailments linked to water contamination on the base.

On Wednesday, the Corps sent an email "blast" to more than 120,000 Lejeune veterans who had shared current online addresses on a registry created to identify and educate potential victims of polluted drinking water at Lejeune over a 34-year period, in an era that ended 30 years ago.

The email explained that veterans who can show they served at Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987, for 30 days or more, are now eligible to file fast-track VA disability compensation claims for eight conditions. The "presumptive" ailments for Lejeune vets are: Adult leukemia; aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes; bladder cancer; kidney cancer; liver cancer; multiple myeloma; non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; and Parkinson's disease.

The Marine Corps will follow its email blast with a postal mailing of 200,000 over the next several weeks to home addresses on file with the Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water website: https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/Home.aspx.

Mailing will advise veterans and survivors that medical science affirms a strong association between compounds that leached into drinking water at Lejeune and the eight ailments. On March 14, a final VA regulation accelerated the processing of qualifying for disability pay.

Even drilling reservists who spent weekends and annual training at Lejeune, also for a total of at least 30 days, will be found eligible for VA compensation if they have one of the presumptive ailments.

If Lejeune veterans died from any of the ailments, their surviving spouses or children will see claims for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) fast tracked too, under the accelerated process established for Lejeune victims.

Years ago, studies confirmed that Lejeune water had been contaminated by benzene, vinyl chloride and two volatile organic compounds - trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry-cleaning agent.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.