Exploring the Camp Lejeune PACT Act

The Camp Lejeune PACT Act has empowered veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to take legal action against the Marine Corps for any health issues they may be experiencing. This law simplifies the process for veterans to sue the government for their injuries.

Improved Claims Process

The Camp Lejeune PACT Act, also known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, allows people who spent time at the base from 1953 to 1987 to sue the government for exposure to toxic chemicals in base water. It’s the first time such a claim has been available, and many veterans are taking advantage of it.

Individuals who meet specific criteria can file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina to seek compensation for illnesses they have suffered or for their loved ones who have died due to exposure. They can file a PACT Act lawsuit even if they’re already receiving benefits for health or disability issues related to their toxic exposure.

If you’re already getting benefits for your condition that is presumed to be tied to toxic exposure, you can still sue under the Justice Act. Still, the amount of your benefits would offset any monetary award.

Expanded Benefits

For years, veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune suffered from various illnesses due to toxic chemicals in the base’s water. The PACT Act streamlines the process for veterans to file lawsuits over Camp Lejeune water contamination and receive financial aid from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

But before veterans can file a lawsuit with a private attorney, they must undergo the preliminary 6-month VA claims process. The law also includes a provision in section 804 that would reduce any eventual monetary award by any government benefits the exposed veteran or their legal representative has already received for a related condition.

But this is no reason veterans hesitate or hold off on filing a claim with the VA. Instead, it is more reason to file as soon as possible and to keep an eye on the news because laws can change.

Expansion of Coverage

Veterans who have been diagnosed with certain conditions, such as cancers, lung ailments, and mental health issues, may now be eligible for benefits if they served at Camp Lejeune or other locations where toxic chemicals were used. 

The PACT Act includes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which allows veterans to file lawsuits and recover damages for illnesses linked to the contaminated water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The law also prevents the government from avoiding these lawsuits with special immunity.

Easier Access to Attorneys

The Camp Lejeune PACT Act makes it easier for people who lived or worked on the base to file lawsuits to recover compensation. It includes veterans, spouses, children, non-military family members, and those exposed in utero. Those who spent 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may seek monetary compensation.

Until recently, it was nearly impossible for Lejeune victims to seek justice. The VA’s denial rate was shamefully high, and the process for filing a claim was time-consuming.

The PACT Act allows victims to file civil suits in federal court. This judicial relief is separate from and in addition to VA benefits. It also gives victims and their families access to experienced attorneys.

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