Service members that were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can apply for disability benefits through the VA due to a new federal rule that was finalized on Tuesday.
After a two month review, the ruling is expected to cost more than $2 billion which is to be paid out over the course of five years. It will affect as many as 900,000 veterans.
The rule states that those who were stationed at Camp Lejuene, including housing areas and satellite camps, from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987, will receive disability benefits if they have contracted one of eight diseases where there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to prove that the disease is connected with contaminated water exposure . The diseases include:
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
The VA is accepting applications from service members that spent more than 30 total days at the base between the given dates.
In 2012, Congress passed the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law which provides free health care for veterans and families who developed one of 15 illnesses for staying at the base.