After years of extraordinary work by veterans and activists, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, or PACT Act, is officially law. This incredible piece of legislation will right a wrong when it comes to caring for our veterans and their families.
Part of the PACT Act is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Telaré Law is here to help veterans in Kennewick, Richland, and throughout Washington State who are eligible for benefits through this Act. If you are suffering long-term and/or terminal effects from exposure to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water, contact our team today to learn more about your options, and how we can help.
What is the PACT Act?
The PACT Act is a comprehensive bill which makes it easier for veterans to claim benefits if they were exposed to toxic substances. Much of the news has focused on post-9/11 veterans stationed abroad on bases with burn pits: open-air pits used to burn trash and other substances. However, the PACT Act also provides additional benefits for Vietnam vets (and others stationed throughout Southeast Asia) who were exposed to Agent Orange, as well as those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Essentially, what the bill does is say that veterans no longer have to jump through hoops to prove that their illnesses are related to toxic exposure. It designates certain conditions as “presumptive,” meaning the Veterans Administration (VA) presumes that servicepeople are at higher risk of developing certain medical conditions based on when and where they served.
What is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022?
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act specifically applies to people “who resides, worked, or were otherwise exposed (including in utero exposure)” to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. What makes this part of the bill different from the rest of the PACT Act is that is applies to non-veterans as well. Family members, civilian workers, and ANYONE who was exposed to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water may make a claim for compensation if:
- They spent at least 30 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) at Camp Lejeune.
- They were there between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987.
What documentation is needed for a Camp Lejeune claim?
Per the VA, you need to supply the following documentation to make a claim:
- Your DD214 or other separation documents
- Your service treatment records
- Any medical evidence related to your illness or injury (like doctor’s reports, X-rays, and medical test results)
You also need proof of residency or employment at Camp Lejeune.
What illnesses are covered under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act?
There are nine different illness and medical conditions associated with exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
Why should I hire an attorney to help me file a Camp Lejeune claim?
According to the Wounded Warrior Project, about 3.5 million veterans have been affected by toxic exposure. Even veterans whose illnesses were already covered under previous legislation have had a historically difficult time getting help. Furthermore, the statute of limitations for these claims began the day the President signed the Act into law (August 10, 2022) and you only have two years to make a claim.
Two years, potentially millions of claimants, and the country’s largest health care system: what are the chances this goes off without a hitch?
Yes. We think so, too.
That is where Team Telaré comes in. Our personal injury attorneys in Kennewick and Richland have years of experience working with people who have been denied the medical care they need. We also have experience dealing with bureaucracies, government agencies, and national corporations, and we know that one missed checkmark or one un-crossed “t” can force you to start back at the beginning. Time is not necessarily on your side, either.
But you don’t have to do this alone. Telaré Law is ready, able, and willing to help at every step. If you or your loved one suffered long-term illness or disability after being exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, we want to help. Please call 509-737-8500 or fill out our contact form. Proudly serving Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla, and the entire Southeast region of Washington State.