From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene and other chemicals. Family members who lived at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, may be eligible for VA health benefits through the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program.

The VA is reimbursing family members for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the following conditions; however, VA pays for treatment only after it has received payment from all other health plans:

• Esophageal cancer

• Breast cancer

• Kidney cancer

• Multiple myeloma

• Renal toxicity

• Female infertility

• Scleroderma

• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

• Lung cancer

• Bladder cancer

• Leukemia

• Myelodysplastic syndromes

• Hepatic steatosis

• Miscarriage

• Neurobehavioral effects

The VA now pays disability compensation for certain illnesses due to the contaminated water. The VA has established a presumptive service connection for veterans, reservists and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from Aug. 1, 1953 through Dec. 31, 1987, who later developed one of the following eight diseases:

• Adult leukemia

• Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes

• Bladder cancer

• Kidney cancer

• Liver cancer

• Multiple myeloma

• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

• Parkinson’s disease

To apply for reimbursement, you must show:

• Your relationship to a veteran who served at Camp Lejeune, with a marriage license or birth certificate;

• that you lived on the base for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, with copies of orders or base housing; and

• that you paid health-care expenses for a covered condition on or after March 26, 2013 (the date Congress began to cover the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program), with receipts.

This program only covers the conditions listed above; it doesn’t meet the minimum standard for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

You should contact your Veteran Service Officer.

Richard Eckert

Veteran Service Officer

Whitley County