The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending its regulations for presumptive service connection to add certain diseases associated with Camp Lejeune contaminated water from August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1987.
This new rule establishes that veterans, former reservists, and former National Guard members, who served at Camp Lejeune for no less than 30 days (consecutive or nonconsecutive) during this period, and who have been diagnosed with any of nine associated diseases, are presumed to have a service-connected disability for purposes of entitlement to VA benefits.
(1) Kidney Cancer
(2) Liver Cancer
(3) Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
(4) Adult Leukemia
(5) Multiple Myeloma
(6) Parkinson’s Disease
(7) Aplastic Anemia and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes
(8) Bladder Cancer
VA now presumes exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water for all active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel who served for no less than 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987. The new rule includes both consecutive and nonconsecutive days in the calculation of the 30-day requirement for veterans who may have served at Camp Lejeune on multiple occasions that total no less than 30 days. Dependents are not eligible.
This new rule covers any veteran, reservist, or member of the National Guard, whose military orders or records establish their presence within the borders of the entirety of the USMC Base Camp Lejeune border, which includes Marine Corps Air Station New River.
This new rule would applies to claims received by VA on or after March 14, 2017 and to claims pending before VA on that date. This rule would not apply retroactively to claims previously adjudicated. A claim is considered to be adjudicated once a decision is made and the appeal period has expired. A claimant has one year from the notification date to appeal the decision before it becomes final.