Was your disability claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination denied? You are not alone. United States authorities downplayed serious warnings about toxic water contamination at the military base for years.
What Can I Do If My VA Disability Claim for Camp Lejeune Is Denied?
If your VA disability claim for Camp Lejeune water contamination is denied, you may appeal. You may also pursue tort compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
You have the right to be represented by a lawyer for either option.
Why would a VA Camp Lejeune water contamination disability claim be denied?
Primary reasons that a VA Camp Lejeune water contamination disability claim may be denied are:
- The person did not have a qualifying period of service at the military base when the water was known to be contaminated
- Medical conditions do not meet one of the presumptive illnesses recognized for benefits programs
- There is inadequate proof that the disability condition resulted from toxic water exposure
- Procedural steps to request benefits were not followed correctly
- Department of Veterans Affairs claims mishandling
United States officials continue to learn more about the devastating effects of the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. However, the list of medical conditions appearing on the presumptive list for disability and healthcare benefits remains somewhat limited.
Camp Lejeune Disability Benefits Claims Mishandling
Military.com reported in August 2022 that tens of thousands of disability claims relating to Camp Lejeune water contamination may have been inappropriately denied because of technical errors by Department of Veterans Affairs representatives.
They say as many as 40% of the claims may have been mishandled. The errors may have stopped approximately $14 million in fair payments to deserving veterans. (Military.com, Veterans Were Denied $14 Million in Payments Because VA Mishandled Lejeune Water Claims)
My Camp Lejeune Disability Claim Has Been Denied – What Can I Do?
Disability benefits appeal
If your Camp Lejeune disability claim has been denied, you have one year to appeal. To appeal, you submit the appropriate paperwork to the correct office.
There are multiple options for having your decision reviewed. You should carefully review them and pursue the one that is most appropriate. The options vary in whether you can submit additional evidence and the level of formality. A U.S. Court may even hear a case of Veterans Appeals for Veterans Claims.
It is important to have an experienced attorney assist you with the appeal because procedural mistakes alone can make a case fail. Plus, it is important to submit the correct documentation and identify the relevant issues to help hearing officials understand the case and reach the correct conclusion.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act Tort Compensation
Previously, limited disability benefits were the only option for Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination victims. However, Congress recently passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Act creates tort liability for the United States government for cancers and other medical conditions suffered by service members, families, and civilians living and working at Camp Lejeune.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is not limited to the presumptive conditions recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the purposes of determining disability benefit eligibility. If you have a medical condition that is not listed, it may be possible to receive tort compensation even if your disability benefits have been denied.
The Act recognizes that current disability and healthcare programs are woefully inadequate to recognize Camp Lejeune victims’ true losses and suffering. The law is worded in a way that does not limit claims to the presumptive list of medical conditions for disability benefits.
Rather, any victim can prove through scientific study and their medical history that their damages result from serving at Camp Lejeune. Damages may include financial losses and pain and suffering.
Lawyers for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Cases
At Bobby Jones Law, we are accepting new Camp Lejeune cases related to the base’s contaminated water issues. We can help you or a loved one pursue compensation. It is a privilege to help our veterans secure their deserved compensation.
Contact us today to talk about your case.