4 important things veterans and military families need to know about those Camp Lejeune ads
Law firms have spent more than $145 million flooding the airwaves and internet with ads about Camp Lejeune Justice, and there’s a reason for it: The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is expected to pay an estimated $6.1 billion in benefits to veterans and families who were poisoned by the water there.
Scott Hardy is the son of a Vietnam War veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange during his service. Hardy founded Top Class Actions to keep corporations and governments from taking advantage of consumers and veterans, and he wants to make sure those funds go where they’re supposed to: helping those affected by the water at Camp Lejeune.
Hardy’s team of veterans and journalists seeks to connect affected veterans and family members to well-experienced and highly reputable law firms throughout America. Hardy also works to hold those firms accountable to their clients. Most importantly, he wants to make sure you know what you need to know about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
1. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is not a lawsuit.
Advertisers make it seem like lawyers won some big lawsuit against the Marine Corps or federal government. That’s not what happened. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is a piece of legislation, part of the 2022 PACT Act, which allows veterans and military families to claim VA disability compensation for the harmful exposure to toxic substances they were subject to during their service.
Certain drinking water wells were tainted with toxic chemicals, such as benzene (a carcinogen) and highly toxic chemical runoff from an off-base dry cleaner, just to name a few—and the Marine Corps knew about it, at least in part, in the 1980s. Depending on where people were stationed on the base, they might have been drinking and bathing in that water.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act payments are now a benefit of service, that’s why the Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a list of Camp Lejeune presumptive conditions, just like it does for Agent Orange or Burn Pit exposure. The legislation authorizes payments and benefits to certain people who spent 30 or more days there between 1953 and 1987. These benefits include disability payments and health care.
2. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act applies to family members.
One of the things the advertisers get right is that the affected time frame is between 1953 and 1987. This means anyone who served at Camp Lejeune during that 34-year time period might have been affected by the water there. For example, a 40-year-old millennial might have parents who weren’t born in 1953, but there might be a grandparent in their family they never knew served in the military because they died before the 40-year-old was born.
Beneficiaries might have to do some digging around their family tree to find out if they qualify, because even children and grandchildren of deceased veterans are still eligible for payments and other benefits. Anyone who spent 30 days at Camp Lejeune, including dependents, regardless of their loved one’s branch or if they were a DoD civilian, might be eligible for benefits if they have the presumptive conditions.
3. Claims can be difficult, that’s why lawyers try to get involved.
Scott Hardy wants veterans to know that they don’t need a lawyer to get their Camp Lejeune Justice Act VA benefits. A veterans service organization like the VFW or American Legion can help file a claim. You could also do it on your own.
But having a lawyer who is familiar with the process and knows how to file the paperwork can make the process smoother and faster, especially if the veteran or their family has incomplete service records.
Hardy has curated a list of highly skilled and well-respected mass litigation law firms in America and uses Top Class Actions to try to connect veterans and military families to those firms. These have many Camp Lejeune clients, and work diligently to make sure their clients’ claims proceed smoothly.
4. Not everyone will qualify for benefits
Camp Lejeune is a massive military installation. At more than 153,000 acres, it uses many wells to service its buildings and personnel, and not all of the wells were contaminated. Just because you or a loved one were stationed there for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, doesn’t automatically qualify you for benefits. You must also show symptoms of the presumptive conditions.
This is another important reason why it’s helpful to get legal assistance from a legitimate law firm who knows the ins and outs of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. A seasoned attorney should be able to help you determine if you were affected by the water on Camp Lejeune and potentially get you the aid and benefits you and your family need.
To get started with Top Class Actions, just fill out a simple intake form on their website. If you qualify, a representative from Top Class Actions or one of the law firms with whom they have a relationship will reach out to you to get more information. Top Class Actions and Scott Hardy are determined to make sure American veterans like Scott’s father get the help they need.
Any information you submit to We Are The Mighty or Top Class Actions does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege because neither We Are The Mighty nor Top Class Actions is a law firm.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.
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