The difference between VA disability benefits and Camp Lejeune lawsuit damages

Michael Bartlett

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 30th, 2023

Veterans who spent time at Camp Lejeune when the drinking water was toxic and now struggle with a related disease are entitled to financial compensation both from the VA and under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Still, the money they can receive from these sources covers different expenses.

The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 is a comprehensive legislative package whose purpose is to provide for the needs of veterans, their family members, and survivors through improved healthcare, education, housing, and memorial services. Furthermore, under this legislation, Camp Lejeune veterans affected by the health effects of drinking contaminated water at the military base can receive VA disability compensation, which is meant to provide healthcare benefits. According to the VA, there are 15 health problems for which veterans and family members can seek disability compensation and healthcare benefits, specifically:

However, the healthcare and benefits the VA offers are not the same as filing a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and receiving compensation for your injuries. While VA disability benefits only cover the cost of healthcare related to the qualifying conditions, they do not compensate for lost wages, pain and suffering, or other damages. Filing a successful Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is the only way to obtain compensation for those damages.

Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, any damage awards a veteran or family member may receive will be offset by the cost of benefits received from the VA. For instance, if you receive a $100,000 settlement from your lawsuit and you have already received $50,000 in VA disability benefits, your total award would be $50,000. Depending on the severity of the disease the individual is struggling with, they can receive between $25,000 and over $1 million in compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

There are several factors that make a Camp Lejeune case strong, resulting in the veteran or family member obtaining more financial compensation, namely:

  • the severity of their diagnosed condition
  • evidence of residency at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987
  • their pre-existing health conditions
  • available medical records and documentation of their injuries
  • the scientific evidence linking their particular illness to contaminated water
  • damages they have suffered due to exposure, such as lost wages and medical expenses

Therefore, Camp Lejeune veterans suffering from diseases and health issues can file both a VA disability compensation claim and a lawsuit under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to for their unjust suffering. Because filing either of these claims alone is extremely difficult and a very complex endeavor, we strongly encourage you to contact our attorneys, who have over 30 years of experience in handling toxic exposure cases.

Our skilled attorneys can help you file your Camp Lejeune water contamination claim

Since 1990, we have been dedicating our efforts to pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, and many of our clients are veterans in your situation. If you drank contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and developed a disease as a result, do not hesitate to contact our law firm, as toxic exposure is our main practice area. To have their claims evaluated, veterans will have to send in their military records, which they must retrieve, and their medical records.

Family members who intend to file a claim will need to submit evidence of their stay at Camp Lejeune along with their medical records. Once we deem you eligible, your claim will be expedited, as we are well aware that many toxic exposure victims struggle financially due to the high cost of treatment. Eventually, if our endeavors are fruitful, you will obtain the compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional distress.