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Veterans, Families & Civilians that resided on Camp Lejeune Have Limited Time to File A Claim For Compensation

Veterans, Families & Civilians that resided on Camp Lejeune Have Limited Time to File A Claim For Compensation

Recently Announced Elective Option Could Lead To Faster Settlements For Victims & Families.

Anyone who lived or worked at the North Carolina military base from 1953 through 1987 and were diagnosed with any of the following conditions are urged to request a free, private case evaluation:

Tier 1:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Leukemias
  • Bladder Cancer

Tier 2:

  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Kidney Disease/End-Stage Renal Disease
  • Systemic Sclerosis/Systemic Scleroderma

Other conditions or diagnoses that may be accepted include:

  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  • Brain Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Female Infertility (diagnosed while on base)
  • Hepatic Steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Lung Cancer
  • Neural Tube Defects
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer

Limited Time To File A Claim. Check Eligibility Today.

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The Department Of The Navy Made A Significant Announcement On September 6, 2023

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The Department of the Navy made a significant announcement on September 6, 2023. This announcement pertains to a framework established to assess and settle a limited number of claims brought under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This framework, known as the "Elective Option" or "EO," was unveiled just after the Camp Lejeune Justice Act's first anniversary, commemorated on August 10, 2023.

The Elective Option framework delineates the compensation amounts available to individual claimants. Notably, these compensation amounts are solely determined based on a claimant's diagnosis and the duration of their exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Other factors, such as the severity or duration of the illness, the required treatment, or the impact of the disease on the claimant's life, are not considered. Furthermore, claimants who suffer from multiple qualifying diseases will only receive compensation for one disease.

The compensation amounts are structured as follows, categorized by the length of exposure and the type of qualifying injury:

Length of Exposure:

  • 30 to 364 days
  • 1 year to 5 years
  • More than 5 years

Tier 1 Qualifying Injury:

  • $150,000
  • $300,000
  • $450,000

Tier 2 Qualifying Injury:

  • $100,000
  • $250,000
  • $400,000

In cases where a qualifying injury or disease results in the claimant's death, an additional $100,000 will be offered. However, it's important to note that the Navy's guidance document does not clarify the distribution of payments for deceased victims, raising concerns about how these payments will be allocated, whether it be according to the decedent's will, the intestacy laws of North Carolina, the laws of the state where the decedent resided at the time of their passing, or through some other mechanism.

The eligibility criteria for receiving an Elective Option settlement are stringent, making it challenging for most claimants to qualify. Eligibility hinges on two primary components: Qualifying Injury and Duration of Exposure.

To establish a Qualifying Injury, claimants must prove that they have one of the qualifying injuries listed in the framework. These injuries are categorized into two tiers. Claimants must demonstrate that they were diagnosed or first treated for the qualifying injury before August 10, 2022, at least two years after their initial exposure to the water contaminants and not more than 35 years after their last exposure. Meeting these criteria necessitates the presentation of original, certified copies of medical documentation or, if impossible, a written statement under oath, along with uncertified copies.

The burden of meeting these requirements is substantial, mainly since many claimants were diagnosed or treated for their Camp Lejeune-related injuries several decades ago, making it exceedingly difficult to procure the necessary records. However, there is an exception for claimants receiving benefits or healthcare from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a qualifying disease, allowing them to rely on those benefits to establish a qualifying injury.

More On What Qualifying Injury and Duration of Exposure Means to Veterans

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In addition to proving a Qualifying Injury, claimants must demonstrate their Duration of Exposure. This entails providing evidence that they lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. Importantly, claimants cannot rely on affidavits or statements for this purpose; they must substantiate their exposure through housing or employment documentation such as military service records, tax returns, driver's licenses, pay stubs, or employment contracts. Like the medical documentation, this places a significant burden on claimants, as it is unlikely that they can obtain such documents decades later.

Fortunately, claimants receiving VA benefits or healthcare related to a qualifying disease associated with Camp Lejeune can use those benefits to establish up to one year of exposure.

For claimants seeking to establish that a qualifying injury or disease resulted in death, additional documentation is required. They must provide a "long form" death certificate containing a medical report detailing the cause of death or a signed letter from the decedent's treating physician.

If an administrative claim is submitted to the Navy, it will be assessed for eligibility under the Elective Option framework. There is no need to resubmit a claim if it has been previously submitted. If the Navy extends an offer to a claimant, they have 60 days to decide whether to accept or decline the offer. Significantly, taking an Elective Option settlement payment will not impact any VA benefits received by the claimant, and the government will not assert any offset for benefits previously paid against Elective Option settlement payments.

However, it's important to note that the Navy must provide a timeline for evaluating claims under the Elective Option framework. Given that over 90,000 administrative claims have already been submitted to the Navy, the evaluation process is expected to be lengthy, and settlement offers are unlikely imminent.

For those claimants who do not meet the stringent eligibility criteria for an EO offer or choose to reject such an offer, their claims will proceed through the administrative phase and potentially lead to litigation as further settlement frameworks are developed and additional guidance from the Court becomes available.

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