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Diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its adjudication regulations regarding presumptive service connection, adding certain diseases associated with contaminants present in the base water supply at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (Camp Lejeune), N.C., from Aug. 1, 1953, to Dec. 31, 1987. This final 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 eight associated diseases, are presumed to have incurred or aggravated the disease in service for purposes of entitlement to VA benefits.

In addition, this final rule establishes a presumption that these individuals were disabled during the relevant period of service for purposes of establishing active military service for benefits purposes. Under this presumption, affected former reservists and National Guard members have veteran status for purposes of entitlement to some VA benefits. This amendment implements a decision by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that service connection on a presumptive basis is warranted for claimants who served at Camp Lejeune during the relevant period and for the requisite amount of time and later develop certain diseases. Effective Date: This final rule is effective March 14, 2017.

The presumption of service connection applies to active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative) between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987, and are diagnosed with any of the following conditions:

• Adult leukemia

• Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes

• Bladder cancer

• Kidney cancer

• Liver cancer

• Multiple myeloma

• Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

• Parkinson's disease

[Source US Federal Register 01/13/2017]

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.

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