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Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination

A faucet with water pouring from it

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.

Health benefits

Veterans and family members who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more between Jan. 1, 1957 and Dec. 31, 1987 may be eligible for medical care for 15 health conditions:

  • 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

Read the law signed Aug. 6, 2012. (216 KB, PDF)

On Sept. 24, 2014, VA published regulations for Veteran health care and interim final regulations for family member care. Since the law was passed, VA has been enrolling and providing health care to Veterans. Family members can begin to apply for out-of-pocket cost reimbursement on Oct. 24, 2014.

Veteran health care

If you're already enrolled in VA health care, contact your local VA health care facility to receive care.

Not yet enrolled? Apply online or call 1-877-222-8387 for help.

Family member health care reimbursement

VA will be able to reimburse you for eligible out-of-pocket expenses for the 15 covered conditions starting Oct. 24, 2014. We can only pay for claims after you have received payment from all your other health plans.

You will be able to continue to receive health care from your providers. VA won't be providing you direct health care.

What you can do now if you have one of the covered conditions:

  • Call 1-877-222-8387 and ask to be added to VA's Camp Lejeune database. We will contact you after Oct. 24, 2014.
  • Gather documents showing:
    • Your relationship to a Veteran who served at Camp Lejeune, such as marriage license or birth certificate
    • You lived on the base for 30 days or more between Jan. 1, 1957 and Dec. 31, 1987, such as copies of orders or base housing records
  • Keep receipts for health care expenses you paid for a covered condition on or after March 26, 2013. This is the date when Congress began to fund this program.

Hold on to your documents and receipts. You'll be able to submit these starting Oct. 24, 2014.

Don't cancel your health insurance. This program only covers the 15 health conditions listed above. It doesn't meet the minimum standard for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Compensation benefits

The Aug. 6, 2012 law applies to health care, not disability compensation. At this time, there is insufficient scientific and clinical evidence to establish a presumptive association between service at Camp Lejeune during the period of water contamination and the development of certain diseases.

Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis.

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