Thousands of veterans poisoned by toxic water at Camp Lejeune are now inching closer to qualifying for the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.
Nearly 15,000 veterans whose serious illnesses are linked to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune could receive compensation more quickly all thanks to a new proposed VA rule announced last month.
Previously, each claim was processed on a case by case basis. The rule now establishes that the VA will automatically presume a connection to eight diseases for veterans who served a minimum of 30 days on the base between the 1950’s and 1980’s.
Congressman Walter B. Jones says victims of the water contamination have waited far too long for justice.
“It’s the right thing to do for those that served in the military, again Marines and Navy, down at Camp Lejeune during this period of time. It’s just the right thing to do,” said Representative Jones.
For now, veterans need to prove that they served at the base for at least 30 days, however Jones says he has asked the VA to do away with that statute of the rule. He says he feels anyone who was exposed should be compensated regardless of their time on the base.
The VA’s public comment period ended Oct. 10. When the final rule goes into effect, it will apply to new and pending disability claims. (Source: CBS WNCT-9 | Jacqueline Matter | October 6, 2016)
Thomas Crisp is a retired military officer from Whitmire. His veteran updates can be found weekly in The Newberry Observer.