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Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination

Julian C. Smith Hall at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Julian C. Smith Hall, Camp Lejeune
U.S. Marine Corps

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.

Learn about research on past chemical contamination.

Disability compensation

VA recently proposed a rule to create presumptive service connection for Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Parkinson's disease

Qualifying health conditions include:

Presently, these conditions are the only ones for which there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to support the creation of presumptions; however, VA will continue to review relevant information as it becomes available. Veterans who are experiencing other health conditions that they think may be related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune are encouraged to contact their primary care provider and to file a claim. VA reviews and decides disability compensation claims on a case-by-case basis.

2012 Camp Lejeune health care law

Veterans’ health care
In accordance with the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law, VA provides cost-free health care for certain conditions to Veterans who served at least 30 days of active duty at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987. Qualifying health conditions include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Female infertility
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Veterans eligible for health care under the 2012 Camp Lejeune health care law may enroll in VA health care and receive medical services for the 15 covered health conditions at no cost (including copayments).

Not yet enrolled in VA health care? Apply online or call 1-877-222-8387 for help. Inform VA staff that you served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the covered time period.

Family member health care reimbursement

Family members of Veterans who also resided at Camp Lejeune during the qualifying period are eligible for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses related to the 15 covered health conditions. VA can only pay treatment costs that remain after payment from your other health plans.

Apply online for reimbursement or call 1-866-372-1144 for help.

What type of evidence can I submit with my application?

  • Documentation showing dependent relationship to a Veteran who served at Camp Lejeune, such as marriage license or birth certificate
  • Documentation showing you lived on the base for 30 days or more between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 such as copies of orders or base housing records
  • You paid health care expenses for a covered condition respective to the following date ranges.
    • If you lived on Camp Lejeune between January 1, 1957 and December 31, 1987, then you can be reimbursed for care that you received on or after August 6, 2012
    • If you lived on Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1956, then you can be reimbursed for care that you received on or after December 16, 2014

When evidence is not submitted, VA will use all relevant evidence from internal sources and the Department of Defense (DoD) to support your application. Please be aware it may take longer to review your application.

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