When we think of our veterans, we often conjure images of courageous men and women entering battle and putting themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of our country. While these veterans certainly exist and should be lauded for their commitment to our country, there are many other veterans who never see battle. Yet, even these individuals can be subjected to harm that can leave them with significant losses, particularly if their injuries render them unable to work.
Now veterans from one post will be able to seek disability benefits based on harm they suffered while on-post. The Veterans Affairs Department recently decided that eight medical conditions, including kidney and liver cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, will qualify those who served at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from 1953 to 1987 for disability benefits. Studies found that those who drank the water on the base were subjected to increased exposure to contaminants that increase the risk of these diseases.
It is unclear at this time how many people the change will affect. However, almost one million individuals living and working at the camp were exposed to the contaminants. Therefore, those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune and suffered from a disease may want to discuss the matter with an attorney who can help them better understand the process they face.
Our veterans deserve to be taken care of. The VA’s move is admirable, and one that should continue with regards to others injured at military bases around our country. In the meantime, those who may qualify for Social Security disability should do everything they can to start the process quickly so that they can find financial relief as swiftly as possible.
Source: Military Times, “VA to change disability claims rules for Camp Lejeune veterans,” Patricia Kime, Dec. 18, 2015