VA retroactive payments for Camp Lejeune veterans

Michael Bartlett

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 30th, 2023

If they struggle with a disability as a consequence of their service, Camp Lejeune veterans are eligible for monetary benefits from the VA. When these benefits are not paid from the beginning of the veteran's eligibility, the VA will offer retroactive payments to make up for the loss.

Many veterans who trained and lived at Camp Lejeune during the last century now struggle with crippling diseases, which prevents these brave people from working or performing simple daily activities. For this reason, they are entitled to VA disability compensation, which they receive monthly. Still, in many cases, a veteran is due back pay because their disability has become worse, and the VA has been slow to assign a higher disability rating. Also known as retroactive payment, back pay refers to the money a Camp Lejeune veteran was not paid during the time between when their disability started and when the VA granted the benefit for that disability.

A Camp Lejeune veteran may receive back pay in the following cases:

  • first-time rating decisions for existing disability
  • rating increase for worsened disability
  • addition of a secondary disability
  • increase in existing VA disability payments

VA disability benefit amounts are based on disability ratings, which are assigned from 10% to 100% according to the severity of the veteran's disability. Benefits increase if the veteran has dependents such as a spouse, children, or elderly parents. When the VA approves a disability rating or a claim, it assigns it an effective date. That is the day the veteran was eligible to start receiving the benefit. The effective date is generally the later date of either:

  • the date the VA received the veteran's claim
  • the date the disability was diagnosed

Many disabilities caused by drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune grow worse over time. Veterans whose conditions have become worse may request a new evaluation of their disability rating. They will have to submit medical records that support their claim of deterioration in their health and ability to function in their daily life due to the previously rated disability. How much back pay a veteran can receive depends on the length of time between the claim's effective date and the amount of the monthly benefit the veteran is entitled to.

Finally, if for some reason the request for a higher rating was stalled over a few years, the VA can award the Camp Lejeune veteran a staged rating, or a rating that gradually increased over the time they were waiting for the rating, and the back pay it warrants. If the veteran is due back pay over several years, the VA should also consider inflation as it determines what they are owed. VA disability back pay is essential to veterans and their families and is a critical part of the VA benefits all service members are promised in exchange for protecting and defending our nation.

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With over 30 years of experience in pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, including many veterans, our attorneys will gladly evaluate your case to determine whether you are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim. As a veteran, you will only have to submit your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records. Family members who intend to file a claim will be asked to send our legal team evidence of their stay at the military base along with their medical records.

After a comprehensive assessment of your situation, we will let you know whether you qualify for compensation. Eligible individuals will have their claims prioritized and expedited, as we understand that many toxic exposure victims struggle financially due to the high cost of treatment. If our endeavors are fruitful, you will obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your unjust suffering. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay anything unless we recover money for you.