This is a discussion on Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water info within the Veterans Affairs forums, part of the Armed Services category; Ive recently been made aware of the water contamination on Camp Lejeune.
I was stationed there for two years, from 1986-1987. Im wondering if I ...
Ive recently been made aware of the water contamination on Camp Lejeune.
I was stationed there for two years, from 1986-1987. Im wondering if I would be entitled to any medical exams or screenings by the VA for any effects from this water. Is there any litigation that I should be aware of? Im trying to get up to speed on this, as I said Ive only recently found out about it.
Any info you fellas may have would be appreciated.
Get a hold of the public affairs bunch at Lejeune. They should have some info on the problem. You could also check out Lejeune's web site and see if there is any mention. The local newspapers might also have into.
Are you entitled to anything? Probably not. What are they examining for? At this point, unless you have more symptoms of something, it's only exposure and the VA doesn't rate for exposure.
There is a link on that page to sign up for the study...don't know what the status is though.
Here's the last paragraph from the Fact Sheet:
"Veterans who received the letter from the Department of the Navy may visit the following websites for the most current updates: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/index.html www.marines.mil/clsurvey/index.html
For more information, call the Department of Navy toll-free at (877) 261-9782. The Call Center staff can be reached Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., or by email at email@example.com.
Former residents and employees of Camp LeJeune can now register at the official Marine Corps water study website for notification and information regarding past drinking water contamination. The address is https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/"
There used to be large sewage outlets in New River off about the Division Recon area on Montford Point. One time when I was flounder fishing with a buddy during 1963 we drifted closer to these than intended and by the odor, my guess is that raw sewage was being released. This must have been a real treat for the folks living at Sneads Ferry when the tide ebbed.
This is an excerpt from the instruction, it explains the claims process. Notice that the very last sentence says that this letter replaces Training Letter 10-03.
II. Claims Processing
Evidence development for disability claims based on water contaminant exposure at Camp Lejeune requires obtaining verification of actual service at Camp Lejeune and as much detail as possible about that service. It also requires verifying, with medical evidence obtained through a VA medical examination or other authoritative medical source, whether a claimed current disease or disability is at least as likely as not a result of exposure to the chemical compounds present in the water at Camp Lejeune. A number of diseases are identified in Appendix B of this training letter that meet the criterion of being associated with exposure to the specific Camp Lejeune water contaminants, based on human and experimental animal studies. Manifestation of any of these diseases would be sufficient to initiate a VA medical examination and request an opinion regarding its relationship to Camp Lejeune service. However, this is not an exclusive list. Medical evidence provided by a Veteran indicating that some other disease may be related to the known water contaminants would also be sufficient to initiate a VA examination.
Verification of Service
Verification of service at Camp Lejeune will generally be available through military personnel and/or medical records. These can be obtained with standard development procedures, including a PIES O19 records request. When documents in the claims file do not provide sufficient information on Camp Lejeune service, it should be obtained through VCAA notification or direct contact with the Veteran. It is important to verify that service at Camp Lejeune occurred within the 1957 to 1987 timeframe. Additionally, when not specified in the records, efforts should be made to obtain the length of time served at Camp Lejeune, preferably the dates of arrival and departure. When feasible, it is also desirable to obtain the Veteran’s work duty location and information regarding whether the Veteran resided on base or off base. There is some indication from ATSDR that certain base locations may have been associated with higher levels of water contamination. However, this has not yet been established with certainty. If the Veteran is claiming Camp Lejeune service but initial development does not show it, a PIES O18 request should be initiated to obtain complete service records, which might verify service through temporary duty orders or performance evaluations. Obtaining as complete a picture as possible of the Veteran’s Camp Lejeune service will assist medical examiners with determining the likelihood of a nexus between water contaminant exposure and disease development.
Scientific organizations, including NRC and ATSDR, have determined that some evidence is available that suggests the possible association between development of certain diseases and exposure to the the chemicals known to have contaminated the water at Camp Lejeune. Where associations are recognized, they are often based on experimental animal studies involving exposure dose rates generally considered to be in excess of the amount of exposure experienced by Camp Lejeune personnel. To date, there are no definitive scientific studies that can provide conclusive evidence that an individual who served at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination developed a particular disease as a result of that service. There are many unanswered questions regarding the levels of water contamination at various base locations, the amount and type of exposure experienced by any given Veteran who served there, and the scientific probability that a Veteran’s particular claimed disease resulted from the service at Camp Lejeune rather than from some other source. As a result, there are currently no “presumptive” diseases attributed to service at Camp Lejeune by statute, regulation, or VA policy.
On the other hand, the development of certain diseases are more likely than others to be associated with exposure to the chemical contaminants known to have been in the water at Camp Lejeune. Each of the chemical compounds present in the contaminated water has been shown by toxicologic or epidemiologic studies to be associated with some form of negative health outcome. Appendix B of this training letter provides an overview of each contaminant and the diseases potentially associated with it. Appendix C of this training letter provides a list of Internet websites containing scientific analyses of the contaminants. Although certain disease manifestations may be associated with one of the specific contaminants found in the water and not associated with another, it is currently impossible to determine which contaminants, if any, were in the Camp Lejeune water consumed or used by a particular Veteran. Therefore, until scientific evidence shows otherwise, it will be assumed by VA that any given Veteran claimant who served at Camp Lejeune was potentially exposed in some manner to the full range of chemicals known to have contaminated the water there between 1957 and 1987.
Requesting VA Medical Examinations
Service connection for any disability claimed to have resulted from contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune requires sufficient medical evidence that the disability is related to that exposure. This medical evidence will generally come from a competent and qualified medical examiner who provides an opinion establishing a rational nexus or link between the claimed disability and the exposure. The diseases identified in Appendix B of this training letter have been scientifically associated to a greater or lesser extent with exposure to the chemical contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune. However, this does not mean that service connection can automatically be established for a Camp Lejeune Veteran claiming one of these diseases. It is up to a competent medical authority, based on each Veteran’s individual case, to determine whether it is at least as likely as not that the claimed disease or disability has resulted from the contaminant exposure at Camp Lejeune. Sufficient medical evidence to establish the required nexus may come from a private physician or other competent private medical authority. In such cases, the claim may be adjudicated without further development if the level of disability can also be asertained from the available evidence. If the level of disability cannot be ascertained, a VA medical examination is needed to establish the basis for a disability rating. However, in the majority of cases, an initial VA medical examination will be required to establish both service connection and the level of disability.
VA regulations at 38 C.F.R. § 3.159(c)(4) serve as the basis for requesting medical examinations and opinions in claims based on Camp Lejeune service. Under these regulations, an examination should be requested when the claim: (1) contains competent lay or medical evidence of a current diagnosed disability or persistent or recurrent symptoms of disability; (2) establishes that the veteran suffered an event, injury, or disease in service; and (3) indicates that the claimed disability or symptoms may be associated with the established event, injury, or disease in service. These requirements establish a relatively low threshold for requesting medical examinations for Camp Lejeune Veterans. The first requirement is met when a Veteran provides any credible lay or medical evidence showing a current diagnosis or symptoms of a disease or disability. The second is met when service at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 is verified. The third is met when the claimed disease or disability is one that can reasonably be associated with the known water contaminants at Camp Lejeune. This includes, but is not limited to, all diseases described in Appendix B of this training letter because they have been scientifically associated with exposure to the water contaminants. Other claimed diseases or disabilities may also trigger a VA examination request if they are supported by credible medical evidence or an opinion provided by a competent medical authority indicating a possible association with one of the known water contaminants. When evaluating medical evidence, a liberal approach is desirable. However, certain claimed conditions, such as those based on a musculoskeletal injury, may not be sufficiently reasonable, or as likely as not, to justify requesting an examination for determining its relationship to a chemical compound. On the other hand, additional consideration would be required if a musculoskeletal disease was involved because the contaminants are associated with disease processes.
When examinations are requested, it should be kept in mind that these claims represent a unique situation for VA medical examiners. They must determine, on a case-by-case basis whether a particular claimed condition is linked to contaminated water exposure. In order to assist them with their assessment and determination, the regional office must provide them with the Appendices to this training letter listed below. These replace the Camp Lejeune “Fact Sheet” intended for VA examiners found in Training Letter 10-03.