Camp Lejeune Cancer

The most prominent illness that resulted from the water contamination at Camp Lejeune is cancer. Contaminant carcinogens in the water system caused a myriad of different cancers from 1953 through 1987 before they were discovered in the base’s water supply.

camp lejeune water contamination

These conditions have been positively identified as cancers that resulted from the contamination. Multiple studies have concluded that drinking water contaminants were responsible for cancers and other diseases found in the base population during that period. Conditions on the definitive list all have sufficient evidence that positively proves their connection, making them “presumptive.”

The Known Conditions

The primary chemicals found in the drinking water included the carcinogens trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE) also known as tetrachloroethene, vinyl chloride, and benzene. Whether a person becomes ill with cancer depends on multiple factors, such as length of exposure and frequency.

Of the 15 identified health conditions, these are all the cancers:

1. Esophageal cancer

2. Breast cancer (in both men and women)

3. Kidney cancer

4. Multiple myeloma

5. Renal toxicity

6. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

7. Lung cancer

8. Bladder cancer

9. Leukemia

10. Cervical cancer

11. Myelodysplastic syndromes

The VA recognizes these as “presumptive,” meaning that a veteran is presumed to have developed the condition based on his or her service record. Some are eligible for VA disability benefits while others are only eligible for out-of-pocket medical expense reimbursement.

Other Related Cancers

Rectal cancer and soft tissue cancer are also known to be related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, along with cancers such as:

• Brain

• Cervical

• Ovarian

• Pancreatic

• Prostate

• Liver

• Bile duct

• Intestinal or colorectal

• Gallbladder

• Sinus

• Thyroid

• Spinal

• Other tumors, cysts, and polyps

These are connected to the contamination but are not yet considered presumptive.

Conditions Not On The List

The list above contains the cancers and other medical conditions that have been positively identified as containing a presumptive condition linked to water contamination. But if you were exposed and have been diagnosed with something different, that doesn’t mean it was unrelated to the chemicals in the water. Other cancers and conditions are “as least likely as not” to have a connection to water contamination.

There are other medical conditions that have not yet been identified as presumptive conditions by the Veterans Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service, or the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR.) Cancers and conditions not listed will require medical records and proof of residency or work history at Camp Lejeune.
So many people became ill after living and working there during that time that many illnesses have not yet been connected to water contamination. Others could be identified later, so it’s a good idea to file a claim. You may still qualify for compensation, but you won’t know unless you file.

If you were at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, speak with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney to assess your rights. You will only have until August 2024 to file your claim or lose your right to compensation.

Contact The Herren Law Firm Today For Help With Your Claim

For more than 20 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claim

By now you know that veterans and others who lived and worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, were potentially exposed to water with high levels of toxic contaminants from 1953 through 1987. These contaminants led to serious illnesses, including multiple types of cancers. You may be eligible too make a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.

lawsuit claim for camp le jeune

Years of denials by the VA, the US Government, and the state of North Carolina will finally be remedied by the allowance of claims by veterans, their families, and civilian workers following the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, or CLJA. As part of the larger Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022, $6.7 billion of funding is available for veterans who became ill after using and consuming contaminated water while at Camp Lejeune.

Previously, the North Carolina statute NCGS § 1-52(16) caused claims to be dismissed by a rule of repose, which prevented affected parties from filing a lawsuit. However, the new federal laws allow these lawsuits by sidestepping the state statute.

If you’ve decided to file a claim, there are some things you need to know before proceeding.

Marines And Other Military Members

Although Marines are the most frequently stationed at Camp Lejeune, anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune as an active servicemember, reservist, or in the National Guard for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may have been exposed to the contaminated water supply.

The CLJA states that any service member who wants to file a civilian claim and lawsuit must first file a claim with the Department of Defense in accordance with 28 U.S. Code § 2675. Should your claim with the Department of Defense be denied, you’ll then be eligible to file a federal lawsuit.

As with any disability claim, whether for the Veterans Administration or any other agency, you are required to demonstrate that you were at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period.

Service records are also required to show that you were at Camp Lejeune during this period.

You also need to have your medical records that show that you were diagnosed with an illness that you believe is related. This includes illnesses that are not on the list of currently attributable conditions but may have developed after exposure.

Damages And Compensation

The VA has a fund of $350 million set aside to provide medical care for veterans and their families who were affected and became ill from Camp LeJeune’s contaminated drinking water. These funds are earmarked to cover medical treatment including prescriptions and other necessary healthcare for those affected. Additionally, the VA will be paying $75 million to the families of deceased water victims, and $2 billion in disability benefits.

A successful claim may lead to financial compensation such as:

• Medical expenses
o Current
o Future
• Lost wages
• Lost earning capacity
• Wrongful death (for survivors of a deceased family member)

However, you will not have the ability to request punitive damages as you would with a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The only compensation available is to cover expenses involved in treating your illness and losses resulting from the contamination-related illnesses.

What About Existing VA Benefits?

If you’re already receiving VA benefits for conditions related to the Camp Lejeune contaminants, you can still file a claim, and your VA benefits will not be affected.

However, if you are receiving any financial benefit payments, such as VA disability, Medicaid, or Medicare, the amount you’re awarded by the court case will likely be reduced by the amount of compensation you’ve already received.

Remember that if you are planning to file a claim, you will only have until August 2024 to file. After that, your claim will be denied and you will not be able to recover any compensation.

Contact The Herren Law Firm Today For Help With Your Claim

For more than 20 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately. Do not wait to make your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim. There is only a two year window from August 2022 to make your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

Can Family Members File a Camp Lejeune Claim?

Much of the attention that’s paid to the victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination case is given to the Marines and other military veterans who were stationed there. Camp Lejeune also is and has been home to many service members’ families. Military spouses and their children were also sickened by the toxic water contamination, sometimes in utero. They were left with lifelong illnesses, including many forms of cancer.

camp lejeune claims for military family members

The contamination was eventually cleared after 1987, and Camp Lejeune’s water supply is now safe to drink and use. But the damage that resulted from consuming benzene and other carcinogens continue more than 35 years later for those who lived there.

Because family members were usually not military, they would not be ordinarily eligible for disability benefits from the VA. They may have been previously eligible for benefits through Medicaid or other programs. The VA has since established the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program to assist family members in getting medical help for 15 specified related illnesses.

Additionally, The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 provides the families of veterans a way to file their own claims and receive care and compensation for the illnesses and injuries they suffered.

Why File A Claim?

As a non-military resident, you would not be qualified to recover any compensation through the VA as a service member would despite being made ill by the contaminated water. You may or may not have had healthcare coverage when you were diagnosed and may have had to shoulder the costs yourself or turn to Medicaid or Medicare for your healthcare needs.

Filing a claim will allow you to recover the costs of your medical care, lost wages, as well as losses on behalf of children who were sickened by the toxic water. If your military family member has since passed away from the illnesses from the water contamination, you may also be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover financial losses.

The Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) office has a website with information on filing a claim. Those who previously filed related lawsuits and saw them dismissed under the Federal Tort Claims Act must re-file their claims to have them considered under the Camp Lejeune Act.

Qualifying for a Camp Lejeune claim as non-military

Just as you would if you were applying for disability, you will be required to submit documentation that not only shows that you were at Camp Lejeune, but your relationship with a service member. This can include:

• Marriage certificate
• Birth certificate
• Adoption papers
• Other related documents showing a familial relationship (i.e., parents or other dependents)

You will also need to show your dates of residence at Camp Lejeune and a medical diagnosis of your condition.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water.

If you or someone you know became ill after working or being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately for help filing your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

What Caused the Water Contamination at USMC Camp Lejeune?

When people comment on a local phenomenon, they sometimes use the old saying, “it must be something in the water.” For thousands of people who became ill after living or working at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, it really was in the water. Water contamination was eventually discovered.

unaware woman drinking contaminated water

From 1953 through 1987, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with high amounts of a host of toxic chemicals in two of the eight water treatment plants. Marines and other service members, their families, and civilian workers who spent time there were unknowingly exposed to these chemicals daily. No one told them that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated. Many developed serious illnesses after the exposure, even during pregnancy, long after their time at Camp Lejeune ended.

How It Happened

The first contamination occurred when the off-base company ABC One-Hour Cleaners spilled and improperly disposed of their cleaning chemicals. Ultimately those chemicals ended up in the Tarawa Terrace water treatment system. PCE, or Perchloroethylene, was the primary chemical found in water from Tarawa Terrace.

The dry cleaners began operating in 1953, so it’s presumed that the contamination started at that time. Additional chemicals in smaller amounts were believed to have little impact on the water.

Hadnot Point’s water supply was contaminated with multiple substances and sources, with TCE being the most prominent contaminant. Chemicals seeped in through:

• Drums at storage lots and dumps

• Underground storage tank leaks

• On-base spills from industrial sites that were not properly contained and cleaned

Over time, the chemicals in the spills added up. The contaminated wells were finally closed between November 1984–May 1985, and Tarawa Terrace was closed entirely in 1987.

The Chemicals In The Water

Four main chemicals were identified after the contamination discovery:

Trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent used to clean metal parts

Perchloroethylene (PCE), used in both metal degreasing and dry cleaning

Benzene, a base chemical used in the manufacture of other chemicals that create plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers.

Vinyl Chloride, manufactured to create PVC for a wide variety of plastic products such as piping, packaging materials, cable, and wire coatings

The Marine Corps discovered the contamination in 1982. Several volatile organic compounds (VOC) were detected in three of the eight water treatment plants that provided water to the base, including base housing. The Hadnot Point, Tarawa Terrace, and Holcomb Boulevard facilities were primarily responsible for the family housing units and unmarried troop barracks.

Unfortunately, residents and former residents were not notified of the contamination until 1985, long after many became ill and/or died from their illnesses.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water.

If you or someone you know became ill after working or being stationed at Camp Lejeune, contact us immediately for help filing your claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

I Worked At Camp Lejeune – Can I File A Claim?

Publicity surrounding the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina water contamination issue frequently focuses on military personnel (primarily the Marines) and their families. But military families weren’t the only ones exposed.

worker speaking to a soldier in camp le jeune

The base currently has over 3,000 civilian employees. From 1953 through 1987, thousands of civilian workers were also exposed to the contaminated water daily.

Just like military families, civilian workers on Camp Lejeune developed serious illnesses from that exposure.

The PACT Act

Previously only military veterans were eligible to get benefits through the VA. Family members and civilians were not eligible for any assistance no matter how serious their illness, until now.

The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) of 2022 expands the availability of benefits to veterans who were previously denied benefits. This legislation includes veterans who suffered illness from burn pits and other toxic exposures.

Tucked into the PACT Act is the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 which directly addresses military personnel and their families stationed there during the affected period. The legislation eliminated a North Carolina provision that prevented victims from filing related claims. Family members who were exposed, even in utero, may be allowed to file their own claims, as well as a claim on behalf of a deceased family member.

Civilians Are Now Eligible

The PACT Act gives anyone exposed to the contaminated water supply at Camp Lejeune the chance to file a claim and recover compensation for their injuries. For the first time, civilian workers can also file a claim to recover compensation for their injuries from the toxic exposure.

Civilian workers exposed to the toxic water for 30 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) are eligible to file their own claims.

Former federal employees working at Camp Lejeune can contact the Department of Labor for additional information.

Note that claimants will not be able to recover punitive damages from this claim. Lawsuits are only for injury recovery.

Qualifying For A Claim

You must show that you were working at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953, through December 31, 1987. You’ll also need medical evidence that you have been diagnosed with one of the many associated conditions:

Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
• Bladder cancer
Breast cancer
• Esophageal cancer
• Female infertility
Hepatic steatosis
• Kidney cancer
• Leukemia
• Liver cancer
• Lung cancer
• Miscarriage
• Multiple myeloma
Neurobehavioral conditions
• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
• Pancreatic Cancer
• Parkinson’s disease
• Prostate Cancer
Renal toxicity
• Scleroderma

These are just some of the conditions known to result from the contamination but are not a complete list. Other medical conditions may also be eligible for a claim.

You will need to show proof of the damage caused by the contaminated water, including medical and other records.

Short Time Frame

The law went into effect on August 10, 2022.

Anyone affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has from that date until August 10, 2024, to bring a claim under the CLJA. Once the law expires, you will no longer be able to seek compensation. If you believe you were affected by the water contamination, you should speak with an attorney immediately to begin preparation to file your claim.

Contact The Herren Law Firm Today For Help With Your Claim

For more than 20 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after living and/or working on base at Camp Lejeune, contact our office today.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

My Condition is Not Listed. Can I Still File a Camp Lejeune Claim?

It has now been recognized that contaminated water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina caused thousands of people to suffer from serious, even life threatening, chronic conditions for those exposed. With the passing on August 10, 2022, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, our government is helping those who couldn’t get any help before. When President Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, it allows veterans and their families as well as civilian workers to file for and receive benefits if they lived or worked there during time period of exposure (1953 – 1987)  and file a claim for compensation for their medical and other expenses. It also identified eight presumptive medical conditions that are recognized as connected to water contamination. These conditions are judged to be connected to the contamination and claimants do not have to prove their condition is connected to the contamination.

military personnel with medical condition stationed in camp le jeune seeks treatment

Although the Act only identifies eight presumptive illnesses, there is a range of cancers and other conditions that resulted from the water contamination.

Attorney William Herren wants to make sure potential claimants understand that doesn’t mean those are the only illnesses for which you can file your claim.

Presumptive Conditions

Presumptive conditions again are simply medical conditions recognized as related to service at Camp Lejeune due to exposure to the contamination.  The Camp Lejeune Justice Act listed the following presumptive conditions resulting from contamination exposure:

• Adult leukemia that developed after a qualifying exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune
• Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
• Bladder cancer
• Kidney cancer
• Liver cancer
• Multiple myeloma
• Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
• Parkinson’s disease

Veterans who were previously denied benefits can now reapply.  Veterans who have a documented diagnosis and other proof of one or more of these illnesses should re-apply for benefits, as the eight conditions are now judged to be due to the contaminated water.  Now it looks hopeful for them to receive benefits because of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Currently the VA believes there is insufficient evidence to prove causation for additional conditions that are listed in the Camp Lejeune Act. While veterans can access VA medical care, there is no presumption of a service connection for the list below:

• Breast cancer
• Esophageal cancer
• Female infertility
• Miscarriage
• Hepatic steatosis
• Lung cancer
• Neurobehavioral effects (cognitive decline and motor difficulties.
• Renal toxicity
• Scleroderma

All 16 conditions have been traced to the contaminated water, but only the first eight are presumptive conditions. Attorney William Herren though encourages veterans, their family members, and civilian workers who were exposed during the time period to talk with an attorney to see if they may have a claim and not just exclude themselves if their condition is not on this short list.

Family Members

Spouses and children are not normally eligible for VA disability benefits, and the VA is covering out-of-pocket expenses for the above medical conditions.  Family members must provide documentation showing their relationship to the veteran (marriage, birth, or adoption records), proof of residency during the affected time frame, and medical records showing that the condition exists, including the date of diagnosis and treatment records. Additionally, the VA requires proof of payment for these health conditions.

Family members can also file a claim to recover compensation through the Camp Lejeune Act, under the larger PACT Act. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, spouses and children of service personnel are also eligible to make a claim and Herren Law can help you make that claim by the required deadline of two years after the act was passed on August 10, 2022.

What About My Condition That Isn’t Listed?

These 16 conditions are just some that have been identified from the Camp Lejeune contamination. More medical conditions that have not yet been identified may also be eligible under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. So, you’re not required to have one of these listed illnesses, nor are you limited to just these conditions. Nearly any chronic condition that can be traced back to the water contamination as its source may be eligible to file a claim.

So if you suffer from a medical conditions not listed, and meet the other qualifiers, you may want to explore whether you have a claim and can receive compensation. Like a regular VA disability claim, you’ll need medical evidence of your condition and proof that you were at Camp Lejeune during the designated time frame.

It’s important to note that there is also a two-year statute of limitations on these claims, so you must act quickly to be eligible.

Also if you filed a claim previously and were denied, you’ll need to re-submit your claim now, before the deadline.
Anyone interested in seeking a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim can contact Herren Law immediately to discuss your case and how we can help you.

Contact The Herren Law Firm Today For Help With Your Claim

For more than 20 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

If you or someone you know was stationed at Camp Lejeune during the years of water contamination, get in touch with us immediately. You may be eligible to make a claim and receive compensation.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free.

Veterans Day Celebrated in the City of Houston In November

For veterans, November 11th is a day of celebration in the Houston area and throughout the United States. Because Lone Star State has more than 250,000 veterans, it’s the second-largest population of veterans in the US. The City of Houston’s Veterans Day Ceremony happens on Friday, November 11, 2022, at 10:00 am. Acknowledgments and local keynote speakers will be on hand to honor local heroes. Included is a moment of silence at 11:00 am to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that brought WWI to an end.

veteran days

The American Heroes Parade will begin at 11:30 A.M. The parade starts at Dallas and Bagby and will end at Lamar at Bagby. The route takes the parade from the starting point east on Dallas, north on Louisiana, west on Walker, south on Smith, and west on Lamar to the endpoint.

Also included are local veterans’ organizations, ROTC and Junior ROTCs, bands, and other supporters who will march in support of Texas veterans. These activities are also open to the public along the entire parade route.

Other Houston-area scheduled Veterans Day events to include:

• The Woodlands Township, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands, TX, 77380
Downtown Houston Aquarium, 10 am to 10 pm, 410 Bagby (call for details)
Kemah Boardwalk Aquarium, 10:00 am to 9:30 pm, #11 Kemah Boardwalk Kemah, TX, 77565

The Bay Area Chorus also has two scheduled performances in honor of Veterans Day.

What Is Veterans Day?

It’s a day to honor everyone who has served in the US military in any capacity, including:
• Army
• Navy
• Marines
• Air Force
• Coast Guard

First known as “Armistice Day,” it was a worldwide holiday to mark the end of WWI when the Allies formed an armistice to stop fighting on “The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

Then in 1947, the term “Veterans Day” was used in Birmingham, AL for National Veterans Day. WWI Veteran Raymond Weeks held the first Veterans Day to honor the living veterans along with their deceased colleagues. This began a tradition of honoring veterans from all branches, whether they served in war or peacetime. Civilians also honor veterans on this day alongside current and retired military personnel.

If you can not attend Veteran Day activities, you may want to take a moment in your day to reflect on the significance of the contributions of the service of out veterans.

Herren Law Helps Houston Veterans

Getting veteran’s disability benefits is can be a frustrating process that takes patience as well as understanding the law. William Herren is a disability attorney who has helped more than 4,000 Houstonians get the benefits they deserve, including veterans. Call The Herren Law Firm today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, and we’ll take your case on a contingency fee basis, with no up-front charges. We help Veterans applying for benefits or with appeals.

What You Need To Know About Camp Lejeune

You’ve probably seen the flood of new law firm commercials regarding Camp Lejeune water contamination cases.  Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Carolina is one of the largest US Marine bases and has been home to millions of Marines, their families, veterans, and civilians who worked on the base.

camp lejeune water contamination

During the 1980s, the base officials discovered that water contamination had been occurring since the 1950s. It was recently determined that the contamination was allowed by the US government in the form of military personnel who were not checking the water supply as they were supposed to. It was the Camp Lejeune authorities that were responsible for the water supply. Their failure led to an investigation into this situation and to the current decision by Congress to allow for claims now. But claims must be filed within the next two years. That is why there is a scramble to get the word out and get folks to file their claims in that time period.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people exposed to these contaminants developed a much higher risk of serious medical conditions later.

A study from the National Library of Medicine reports that this water was contaminated with a host of toxic substances including benzene, chloroform, and vinyl chloride in amounts far above permitted levels. All these chemicals are known human carcinogens and are responsible for cancers, birth defects, miscarriages, infertility, and a host of other serious health conditions.

Were You At Camp Lejeune?

Individuals who could be eligible for compensation because of the water contamination fall into one of four groups:

• Active-duty military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune

• Families, children, and other dependents of military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune

• Civilians and subcontractors employed on board Camp Lejeune

• Children who have been exposed to contaminants during pregnancy while at Camp Lejeune

If you fall into one of these categories and were stationed at the base for at least 30 days from 1953 through 1987, you may have suffered illness related to water contamination.

The chemicals leaked into water supplies through underground storage tanks and were intentional dumping into storm drains. People unknowingly drank this contaminated water and used it for hand washing, bathing, and other contact applications. More than a million people were exposed to this water between 1953 and 1987.

Even though the government took care of the contamination, the effects were not immediate. People who were exposed to the contaminated water developed serious medical conditions years after they left.

The Veterans Administration

As a law firm that handles veterans’ claims every day, we understand dealing with the VA on your own. Overworked caseworkers deny claims without notifying the veteran of what they might need or the benefits that might be available for them. According to Bill Herren of Herren Law, you can have virtually anything, any chronic condition, especially cancer because cancer of any kind could be related to that toxic water.  Also if you previously filed and were denied, because of the rule of you can’t sue the government, your claim can be refiled.

The VA has since authorized benefits to veterans, reservists, and guardsmen who were stationed at either Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River. The government website details you must have been stationed there for at least 30 days while on active duty, or in the National Guard or Reserves. It also names the following presumptive conditions as qualifying conditions: Adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and other myelodysplastic syndromes, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease. Other presumptive conditions have since been added. Presumptive basically means it is presumed that this medical condition is related to the contamination and you do not need to prove it.  But as Herren has discussed, any chronic condition may be the basis for a claim. If you think you may have a claim, now is the time to explore it, given the current two-year window to file a claim.

What About Family Members?

Now family members have an opportunity to file a claim to recover compensation through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The Justice Act is part of the larger PACT Act, signed into law in August of 2022.

Spouses and children of veterans at Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River were also unknowingly exposed and later developed serious health conditions. These individuals are now able to file a claim for medical expenses and pain and suffering resulting from the water contamination. Furthermore, Camp Lejeune civilian workers may also be eligible to file a claim.

The act currently states the time frame is two years from the date of the signing, so all claims must be filed before the end date. That is why the sense of urgency.

Camp Lejeune Claim? Contact The Herren Law Firm Today

For more than 20 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and other disabled people with their benefits claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them. We are in a position to help you file a claim.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately.

Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, to discuss your situation.

What is SSDI? (Social Security Disability Insurance)

When a disability renders you unable to work, one of the many things you need to do is apply for disability. If you have a form of disability through your workplace, that will likely be your first option. But if you have been out of work for an extended period, and no longer have that disability insurance, there is another option available. SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, is available to you if you have a work history.

elderly couple with Social Security Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance Through Social Security

This program is intended for individuals who have a work history and have accrued enough credits through employment to qualify. It is paid from the same program that pays retirement benefits to older workers who have retired. SSDI provides a monthly income to those who are rendered unable to work due to a long-term or disabling medical condition.

To be eligible, you must have contributed to SSDI through payroll tax deductions through employment that is covered by Social Security. You must also have worked recently enough and long enough in order to qualify.

SSDI is different from SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, which is a benefit payment for low-income individuals with little or no work history. However, some individuals could be eligible for both SSDI and SSI under certain conditions.

How To Qualify For SSDI

An individual applying for SSDI must be unable to work due to a disability. Social Security has a narrow definition of “disability.” A person’s medical condition (physical or mental) must be expected to last at least one year, or result in the applicant’s death. As a result, SSDI is not intended for short-term or partial disability.

SSDI qualification is based on an individual’s work history, and the monthly benefit is based on average lifetime earnings from employment that is covered by Social Security. The benefit is calculated based on the number of calendar quarters the applicant worked, and at which age the disability began.

Another condition is whether you can engage in Substantial Gainful Activity, or are not able to do the type of work you did before or any other type of work due to your disabling medical condition.
There are slightly different eligibility requirements for people who are blind, veterans, children with disabilities, and widows or widowers of workers.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens or have a lawful alien status if they were born outside of the US.

Filing An Application

You’ll need to gather some records before you begin your application. Start with:

• Your Social Security card

• Contact information from your health care providers, including many doctors, and the dates of your appointments

• A list of all medications, names, and dosages

• Treatment records

• Results from all laboratory and diagnostic tests

• Your most recent W2 form, or last year’s tax return if you were self-employed

• Bank account information

• If your spouse also qualifies, your marriage certificate or other proof of marriage

• For family members who also qualify for benefits, Social Security numbers and proof of age for each

You should apply as soon as you become disabled. Since it takes time to begin receiving benefits, you should start the process immediately. You should have all your proof and information about your condition before you begin.

Prior to filing your SSDI claim, you should visit your physician and explain what you plan to do. If your physician does not agree that you are disabled, his or her assessment could harm your claim. If your own doctor will not support your claim, you may consider finding another doctor or medical professional who does.

However, if your physician does agree, it’s also important to follow his or her medical advice. Not making scheduled appointments and failing to follow treatment protocols may make your claim look fraudulent.

Many applications for SSDI are rejected on the first try. It’s important that you appeal this decision so as not to lose your right to do so.

It’s also a good idea to work with a disability lawyer who understands SSDI and how to complete an application correctly. You’ll have a better chance of approval on the first application, or on appeal.

Let Herren Law Help You With Your Disability Claim

We’ve helped over 4,000 Houstonians get their disability benefits. The Herren Law Firm in Houston, TX can assist with your application, appeals, and records gathering to prove your case, and win your claim. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation and no up-front fees, and we only collect a fee if we win your case.

Does a Mental Disorder Qualify For Social Security Disability?

You may wonder if a mental disorder also qualifies for Social Security disability assistance. Mental disorders can be just as disabling as a physical disability or handicap. A mental disorder can prevent you from working, having fulfilling relationships, and functioning in society.

 

elderly lady who have Alzheimer disease
                                                                                                                                           Mental Disorder affects 1 in 5 Adults

In 2020, about 21% of Americans experienced a mental disorder or about 1 in 5 adults. About 5%, or 1 in 20 adults, experienced a severe mental disorder. About 8% of Americans, or 21 million people, experienced a major depressive episode in the same year.

Suicide and other negative activity can result if the mental disorder is left untreated. Many people in jail have been found to have some kind of mental health challenge. Veterans are not immune from mental disorders and may qualify through the Social Security Disability program as well as veterans disability programs. As you see, if you are suffering from a mental disorder, you are not alone. Medical care is available and you may qualify for disability assistance as well.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

This is a program that pays a person and certain family members if, while you were working, you earned enough credits through payment of Social Security taxes from your earnings, or those of a qualifying family member.

SSDI is for individuals who are no longer able to work due to a substantial illness or impairment. To qualify, a person must have worked in jobs that are covered by Social Security and deduct those taxes from earnings. The calculations are made on the number of earnings the disabled person earned prior to leaving work due to a disability.

SSDI is different than SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. SSI is a need-based program offering basic financial assistance to older persons and disabled individuals who have limited resources. SSI recipients qualify for Medicaid immediately, whereas SSDI recipients qualify after 24 months of receiving benefits.

Qualifying Criteria

Social Security uses the same basic requirements for any disability rating. The disability must be expected to last longer than 12 months or end in the death of the recipient. Mental disorders are also judged by the same standard. They are considered a disability and do qualify for disability through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA’s “blue book” contains the full listing of all conditions that they consider “disabling.” The book contains an entire section on mental disorders. Many of the disorders have multiple requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify for SSDI. Any mental illness that prevents you from having and maintaining gainful employment may be used as a qualifier.

But just having a mental disorder isn’t enough to begin receiving SSDI payments. You still must submit an application and include sufficient documentation that supports your claim of disability. This can include:

• Medical records from psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, or therapists

• Any treatments, such as brain scans that show any abnormalities responsible or other organic cause for symptoms (if applicable)

• Medical records from emergency room treatments or hospitalizations resulting from your condition

• Pharmacy records related to the prescription treatment of your condition

A diagnosis isn’t enough to show disability. You’ll be required to demonstrate that the diagnosed illness also includes limitations that impair certain functions and this functioning impairment prevents or prohibit you from working. During medical visits, speak honestly with medical providers about how your disorder impairs you so that their medical records will give an accurate account of your condition.

Adding detailed descriptions of how your mental disorder disrupts your life can be a helpful first-person account that accompanies your medical records. It is not unusual to find many individuals applying for SSDI may have one or more disabling physical conditions in addition to their mental disorders.

It is a good idea for you to speak with an experienced disability attorney, like Bill Herren, before submitting letters and first-person documentation so that they are done correctly. Working with a disability attorney from the beginning can increase your chances of approval and ensure that the application is completed correctly. It also lets you focus on taking care of yourself while your attorney handles your claim application process.

Unfortunately, many claims are rejected because of insufficient documentation or errors. If you are considering applying for yourself or a loved one that has a mental disorder that qualifies for Social Security Disability, contact an attorney that specializes in this area of law. If the application is denied, you can have your attorney represent you in an appeal, which can increase your chance of being approved.

How Long Does it Take?

With rare exceptions, disability payments do not begin immediately. Once you submit your claim, it will be reviewed by a caseworker who will verify your information and medical documentation before rendering a decision. The decision is generally given within three to five months, on average, though sometimes it can take longer.

Once your application is approved by the SSA, you’ll have a yearly review of your condition since many mental disorders are treatable. If your condition remains the same and there is no improvement, you will likely continue to have your benefits.

Contact Herren Law Today

Mental disorders affect thousands of Texans and their families. Many should qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but their applications are denied because of insufficient documentation or outright errors. Herren Law has helped over 4000 Houstonians receive the disability benefits they need. William Herren has an unsurpassed commitment to his disabled clients and is a proud member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants Representatives. Licensed to practice law in Texas and in the Federal District Courts of the Southern District of Texas and the Eastern District of Texas, as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Herren is very experienced in Social Security disability type cases, including mental disorders that qualify for Social Security Disability.

When you call Herren Law, we’ll immediately begin working with you one-on-one, going through your records, and helping you to apply properly.

If you or someone you care about has a mental disorder and you are wondering if that mental disorder qualifies for Social Security disability assistance, start with William Herren and the Herren Law firm. Your first step is getting an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer on your side, so contact our Houston law office at (713) 682-8194. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, and there is no fee unless we win your case.

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