Since the presidential signing of the PACT Act in August 2022, approximately 5,000 eligible veterans and their families across the country have filed Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits.
In cases where the eligible veterans had already passed away, these federal lawsuits were filed on their behalf by their surviving family members and loved ones. The water contamination at Camp Lejeune put thousands more at risk of serious health issues.
Thankfully, these veterans and their loved ones can seek justice. Whether you are helping a living veteran file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit or searching for information on how to file on their behalf, the first step is to determine eligibility for compensation.
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Keep in mind that filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit does not impact existing monthly VA benefits in any way.
Income from the VA will not be reduced or adjusted from filing a lawsuit and securing additional compensation through a Camp Lejeune settlement.
Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Eligibility
Civilian employees, reservists, and veterans who were stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for a minimum of 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may be eligible to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits — thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Family members who lived at Camp Lejeune during this specific time period may also be eligible.
Even if your loved one passed away decades ago, you may now qualify for compensation from a Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
Being diagnosed with a medical condition related to the military site’s contaminated water is also required.
Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues include:
- Birth defects
- Cancer: bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney, leukemia, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and more
- Female infertility and miscarriages
- Heart disease
- Hepatic steatosis (a chronic liver disease or excess buildup of fat on the liver, commonly referred to as fatty liver disease)
- Multiple myeloma (a cancer of plasma cells)
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of cancers that impacts the maturing and health of bone marrow blood cells)
- Neurobehavioral issues
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal toxicity
- Scleroderma (a hardening or tightening of the skin)
Note: These are not the only health conditions that may qualify for compensation.
If you or your loved one were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with a related health condition, the next step in the lawsuit process is to request the proper military records for verification purposes.
Keep reading to find out how you can request military records for yourself or on behalf of your loved one.
How to Request Military Records
A veteran's military records are documented in their DD Form 214, officially referred to as the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.
Provided through the United States Department of Defense, a DD 214 form can be issued once a military service member has retired, been discharged, or has otherwise stepped down from service.
Where Do I Get a DD 214 Form?
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) manages U.S. military records for veterans who served in World War I to the present. These records are kept either on paper or on microfilm. You can contact the NPRC directly to request printed copies.
The NPRC maintains each veteran’s Official Military Personnel Files, which may include the DD 214 form. These records offer a variety of information about veterans, such as enlistment or separation dates, any awards they have received during their service, and where they were stationed.
Can Anyone Request a DD 214 Form?
Anyone can request DD 214 forms, but the type of information that will be released in the document depends on your relationship with the U.S. military veteran you are inquiring about. Most of the time, requests can be made free of charge.
If you are a veteran, or are considered a veteran’s next-of-kin, you can access the DD 214 request form online. Once completed, you can submit it by either mailing or faxing it to the NPRC.
If you are not a veteran or a veteran’s next-of-kin, the information that will be shared with you on a DD 214 form will be limited as a privacy measure. Additional information may be shared if the veteran or their next-of-kin have given their consent regarding these records.
Are Additional Military Records Needed?
In some instances, a veteran's DD 214 form may not include specific dates of service. In such cases, full military records can be requested through milConnect, an online self-service portal operated through the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Login credentials are needed to access select sections of the milConnect website, including service record requests.
Once you are logged in, you can follow the below steps to submit your request:
- Click on the Correspondence/Documentation button
- Select on the Defense Personnel Records Information (DPRIS) button from the drop-down menu
- Click on the Personnel File tab
- Choose the Request My Personnel File tab
- Complete the form and check the boxes next to the documents you’re requesting
- Click on the Create and Send Request button
Remember, documentation that clearly states dates of service and assignment location are essential for filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Without this evidence, eligibility for compensation may be denied.
What to Do After Receiving Your Military Records
Once you receive your DD 214 form — either for yourself or for your loved one — you can share this document with the legal team handling your Camp Lejeune lawsuit paperwork.
Since this lawsuit requires military service in a specific location during a designated time period, having these records is crucial to presenting your case.
Remember that along with these military records, you will also need to show your attorney any medical records that verify health conditions that developed as a result of contaminated water exposure.
Sokolove Law Is Here to Help
With more than 40 years of experience as a national law firm, Sokolove Law has helped thousands of people receive compensation for the harm they endured.
Our dedicated attorneys have recovered more than $8.8 Billion on behalf of those seeking justice nationwide.
Our Camp Lejeune attorneys do not charge any upfront fees and only get paid if you receive compensation, so there is no financial risk for you to partner with us.
Call us at (800) 995-1212 today for a free case review to see whether you qualify for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.