After a tumultuous journey, a new statute expanding medical benefits and services for veterans exposed to toxins was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 10.
Under bipartisan support, the Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 took over a year to make it through the legislative process. Specifically, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was merged into the Honoring Our PACT Act.
This law allows for veterans exposed to contaminated water at the North Carolina base, Camp Lejeune, to sue the government and recover damages from their resulting adverse health effects.
In essence, the law allows for compensation to families of Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune who lived, as well as civilians and staff members who worked, at the base between 1953 and 1987 and developed certain injuries.
TorHoerman Law has already filed hundreds of claims for veterans.
As attorneys in these cases, one of the most common questions we receive from our clients is:
“If I file this lawsuit, will I lose my VA benefits?”
The short answer is no.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognize this potential overlap and work side by side to maximize your potential recovery.
To best explain this and help you understand why your VA benefits will not be lost, we have detailed 2 possible scenarios in the sections below.
Under the new law, you may have a new opportunity for justice.
One of the purposes of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is to help those who were denied benefits in the past.
Thus, previous VA denials do not bar you from filing suit.
Here, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 could allow you the chance to recover for damages that your VA benefits do not cover, like pain and suffering and loss of income.
Specifically, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 states:
Thus, the law is structured so that you could be compensated for certain harms you suffered (physical, mental, financial), then reduce that amount by whatever the VA has paid you in benefits.
But in no way, would the VA stop providing you the benefits you are already receiving.
Further, if your VA benefits result from injuries that are in no way connected to the injuries you sustained from exposure at Camp Lejeune, an offset may not be applicable.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to the attorneys at TorHoerman Law.
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