On Monday, VA issued a final rule to expand VA health care eligibility for veterans affected by contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Starting this week, veterans who served at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987, are eligible to receive no-cost health care for 15 medical conditions that have been linked to the contaminated water. Previously, only veterans who served at Camp Lejeune from January 1, 1957 were covered. Veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 medical conditions may receive reimbursement for the cost of treatment if the care was provided on or after December 16, 2014, when the law expanding eligibility was signed. However, veterans must submit a request for reimbursement no later than July 18, 2018. For more information on benefits and services for Camp Lejeune veterans, visit: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune.
This rule does not impact disability compensation benefits. VA is still in the process of finalizing a rule to grant Camp Lejeune veterans presumptive disability compensation for 8 of the 15 medical conditions found to be associated with exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. However, veterans who have been diagnosed with any of the 15 conditions should file a claim when possible to preserve the effective date. To contact a VFW Service Officer for assistance filing a disability compensation claim, visit: http://www.vfw.org/NVS/.