Camp Lejeune Veterans Exposed to Toxic Water to Receive Disability Benefits

Ray Hunter
January 15, 2017

The rule covers active duty, reserve and National Guard members who developed one of eight diseases stemming from the water.

Over a period of two years, the federal government will dedicate $2 billion for disability benefits related to eight medical conditions linked to exposure to contaminated drinking water, the Associated Press reports.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is holding the meetings at the Courtyard in Jacksonville.

A NY1 investigation past year found hundreds of thousands of service members were exposed to toxins at the base, when chemicals seeped into the groundwater. He said it is a good first step, but it's not almost enough. Jerry Ensminger, whose daughter Janey was born in 1976 while he was stationed at Lejeune. She later died due to leukemia. "This is not the end of the issue".

Those chemicals are known to promote diseases like leukemia, numerous cancers, Parkinson's and multiple myeloma. The wells were contaminated by leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner.

Corporal Adam Marano hugs his wife Melissa Marano (L, background) as Jesse Champanse hugs his wife Melanie (R) as the Marines in the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, prepare to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom November 3, 2009 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

However the Marine Corps claim that the contamination of the waters were most likely not deliberate, since back then the government had not put a certain limit or ban on toxins that were dumped into drinkable water.

Affected veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune may now submit applications for benefits, once the rule is officially published Friday.

"Expanded coverage is making progress, but we also need to know whether the government may be" purposely leaving people out, said Rick Weidman, executive director of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Military personnel must have served at Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 1987.

The cash payouts have been said to being available to the sick veterans by early March, 2017, and proper documents and evidence regarding their cases have and will be requested for each veteran to submit prior to receiving disability benefits, which includes relevant documents that mention the information of their services. The VA estimates that as many as 900,000 service members were potentially exposed.

Other reports by MyHealthBowl

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