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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 more 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)

VA published a proposed regulation Sept. 11, 2013, which discusses how we will improve health care to eligible Veterans.

We are working on regulations for family member care and will publish these separately.

Veteran health care

You can receive care now if you’re eligible. You don’t need to wait for the proposed regulation to become final.

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 after we publish regulations. 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 when regulations are published.
  • 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. We’ll let you know when to submit these after regulations are published.

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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