Veterans Notes: Here's what you need to know about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act
If you are awarded relief by a court in a lawsuit brought under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, the award will be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment or benefit VA provided to you.
WADENA — On Aug. 10, President Biden signed into law the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022. Section 804 of this law is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 (CLJA), which allows people exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file new lawsuits.
You may have seen advertisements from lawyers, law firms or others seeking to represent you in litigation related to this new law. These lawyers, firms and private parties are not connected with VA benefits or services. Whether you decide to seek relief under the CLJA is entirely your decision and will not influence VA’s decision to provide you benefits or health care based upon your exposure. It also will not affect the amount of benefits or health care VA can provide you.
It’s important to know, however, that if you are awarded relief by a court in a lawsuit brought under the CLJA, the award must be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment or benefit VA provided to you or your legal representative relating to exposure to water at Camp Lejeune. This would reduce the amount of the award you receive from the court, but it would not affect your VA benefits.
Any award must also be offset by Medicare or Medicaid benefits. We recommend you contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for information on how a court award under the CLJA could affect your benefits under those programs.
Additionally, please note that the U.S. Department of Justice has set up a phone number and email address that anyone can use for questions about the status of cases filed in federal court under the CLJA. The phone number is (202) 353-4426, and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
All Veterans and family members who believe they were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, should contact VA to understand their options for health care and benefits. VA has established presumptions of service connection for several diseases for Veterans, reservists and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.
The Camp Lejeune Family Member Program covers out-of-pocket costs for 15 conditions for family members who lived at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces at Camp Lejeune for not fewer than 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987, are eligible for hospital care and medical services for any of 15 illnesses or conditions. They are also eligible to enroll in VA health care for other health care services they may require.
The family members of these veterans who resided at Camp Lejeune for not fewer than 30 days during this period (or who were a fetus in utero during the period while their mother resided at that location) are eligible for hospital care and medical services furnished by VA for any of these 15 illnesses or conditions.
Learn more at VA’s Camp Lejeune exposure to hazardous materials page, download VA’s Camp Lejeune water contamination FAQ or call 1-800-MyVA411. Your local veterans service organization may also be able to help. VA will not charge you for providing information related to these services.
As always, please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. In Wadena County, you can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at email@example.com – and as always, have a great week!