August 10, 2022, marked a historic day: President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act into law. The law was an incredible victory for many U.S. veterans — including ones exposed to toxic water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The PACT Act included the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows veterans and loved ones to pursue compensation if they developed serious illnesses from Camp Lejeune water contamination.
How the PACT Act Helps Camp Lejeune Veterans
The PACT Act of 2022 is an expansive, bipartisan bill that provides many benefits to U.S. veterans — including ones harmed at Camp Lejeune.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was part of the larger PACT Act that was signed into law on August 10. It allows veterans and their families to seek justice and compensation if they developed illnesses from Camp Lejeune’s toxic drinking water.
From August 1953 to December 1987, Camp Lejeune’s water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Exposure to VOCs can lead to many health problems, including cancer, neurobehavioral issues, and birth defects.
For decades, Camp Lejeune victims had very few ways to pursue justice — even benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were hard to achieve.
Now, thanks to the PACT Act, many can file Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits and pursue financial aid for their suffering. Much like U.S. veterans with mesothelioma, those who served at Camp Lejeune can get justice.
Learn if you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune water claim below.
- Access veteran compensation
- Highest available payout
- Expedited claim filing
The PACT Act Explained
The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act is a sweeping bill. The White House has touted it as “the most significant expansion of benefits and services for toxic exposed veterans in more than 30 years.”
Here are some key provisions of the PACT Act:
- Every veteran enrolled in VA Health Care can receive a toxic exposure screening. This is helpful as veterans could have been put at risk of many toxins, like asbestos, Agent Orange, and VOCs, depending on when and where they served.
- Veterans and their families may not need to provide evidence that certain conditions are connected to military service anymore. This will greatly help speed up the time it takes for veterans to get service. Those with select respiratory conditions, cancers, and other health problems may qualify.
- Veterans that served in the Middle East may have gotten sick from exposure to burning pits of trash while they served. Under the PACT Act, the VA grants health care coverage for over 20 health problems related to toxic burn pits.
And, of course, those who developed illnesses or lost loved ones due to Camp Lejeune water can now file lawsuits to get financial payouts and closure.
Veterans can learn more about the benefits of the PACT Act by visiting va.gov/PACT or calling the VA’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-698-2411.
Why Camp Lejeune Veterans Deserve Justice
The PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act could not have come at a better time. Nearly 1 million people were exposed to toxic Camp Lejeune water between 1953 and 1987. Many are still grappling with health problems or the trauma of losing a loved one today.
Illnesses linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination include:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Birth defects
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Cervical cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
These illnesses have destroyed the lives of many Camp Lejeune veterans and their families. John Carberg, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, died of bladder cancer believed to stem from Camp Lejeune water contamination.
His son Chris Carberg expresses hope that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act will help his family.
“Many families are going to feel like they are being seen and heard for the very first time. Many of us have lost our loved ones as a result of the toxic exposure, and this […] makes a statement that the military and the government acknowledge us.”
— Chris Carberg, son of Camp Lejeune Veteran John Carberg
Camp Lejeune Justice Was Long-Awaited
Sadly, Camp Lejeune veterans were denied justice and compensation for far too long. While the VA allowed these veterans to still pursue VA benefits, many of their claims were denied.
- In 2019 alone, the secretary of the U.S. Navy denied over 4,500 damage claims filed by Navy veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune.
- As recently as 2022, 3 in 4 Camp Lejeune veterans had their requests for VA benefits denied.
The government and VA treatment of Camp Lejeune victims stand in sharp contrast to the treatment of U.S. veterans with mesothelioma, who are often awarded full disability benefits provided they have the needed asbestos exposure evidence that links their condition to military service.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act opens up a new way for veterans and their families to pursue justice beyond VA benefits. The act allows victims to pursue Camp Lejeune lawsuit compensation. Anyone exposed to Camp Lejeune drinking water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 may be eligible.
Find out your eligibility and pursue a Camp Lejeune water claim now.
Take Action Thanks to the PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act
If you or a loved one served at Camp Lejeune and later got sick or died, the PACT Act and Camp Lejeune Justice Act may allow you to get financial aid and a sense of closure.
With legal help, you can determine if you are eligible to pursue a Camp Lejeune drinking water settlement and receive financial compensation.
Nobody deserved to get sick from Camp Lejeune’s water — but that’s exactly what happened. Just like how we’ve stood by veterans with asbestos-related diseases, the Mesothelioma Veterans Center is here to help you.