Veterans Disability Info Blog

Update: New Camp Lejeune Settlement Elective Options

Over 93,000 veterans have already filed claims for compensation under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act—an Act allowing veterans to sue for damages caused by toxic drinking water at military base Camp Lejeune.

To help expedite the process and lower the burden of proof for veterans, on September 6, 2023, the U.S. Navy and the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a new Guidance creating an “Elective Option” (EO) for Camp Lejeune Justice Act claims.

Now, under the Public Guidance on Elective Option for Camp Lejeune Justice Act Claims, the government is offering voluntary settlements of preset payment amounts to military veterans and families exposed to toxic drinking water at the Camp Lejeune military base.

The elective option creates a defined settlement amount for eligible Camp Lejeune veterans and could speed up the payment process.

Who Qualifies for Camp Lejeune Elective Option?

To qualify for the Camp Lejeune elective option, veterans must:

  • Be diagnosed with or treated for a qualifying health condition before August 10, 2022, AND
  • Have a date of diagnosis or treatment occurring between 2 and 35 years after first exposure to contaminated water, AND
  • Have lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days.

Note that veterans with Camp Lejeune claims already being litigated in the Eastern District of North Carolina may not qualify. These veterans should seek compensation using the traditional Camp Lejeune claims process.

Conditions That Qualify for Camp Lejeune Elective Option: Our VA Disability Lawyer Explains

Veterans may qualify for the Camp Lejeune elective option if they have been diagnosed with or treated for a health condition on the list of qualifying injuries. Under the elective option, the government divides qualifying injuries into “Tier 1” and “Tier 2.”

Tier 1 Camp Lejeune EO Injuries

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemias
  • Liver Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Tier 2 Camp Lejeune EO Injuries

  • Kidney Disease / End-Stage Renal Disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Systemic Scleroderma / Systemic Sclerosis

Note that just one health condition qualifies for the elective option. Veterans with more than one of the listed health conditions will receive payment for the most severe qualifying condition.

Many additional conditions are associated with exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Veterans with more than one condition, or conditions not included on the elective option list, should seek compensation using the traditional Camp Lejeune claims process.

Camp Lejeune Elective Option Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts offered for veterans with qualifying injuries are based on the length of exposure. The following settlement amounts are offered for Tier 1 and Tier 2 injuries:

Camp Lejeune Service TimeTIER 1TIER 2
30 to 364 days$150,000$100,000
1 to 5 years$300,000$250,000
More than 5 years$450,000$400,000

For claims involving death, the government is offering an additional $100,000.

The Camp Lejeune Elective Option Claims Process

Once you have filed a Camp Lejeune claim with the U.S. Department of the Navy, the department will forward any claims that meet election option requirements to the appropriate representative, who will then present a settlement offer to the veteran.

If you have already filed a claim, the U.S. Department of the Navy will automatically examine your claim for elective option eligibility—no need to take further action. If you are eligible, you will be notified.

Act fast! If you still need to file a claim, you must submit your claim by the August 10, 2024 deadline to be eligible for the elective option.

IMPORTANT:  The elective option comes with a waiver. Once you accept the settlement offer, you forfeit your right to sue the government in a private Camp Lejeune lawsuit. It is crucial to speak with an experienced VA disability lawyer who specializes in Camp Lejeune claims before filing a Camp Lejeune claim or accepting any settlement offer.

Your legal advisor will be able to answer questions about whether your condition qualifies for more money than the elective option offers and whether the waiver extends to liens from Tricare, Medicare, Medicaid, or other health insurers.

If you are unclear about whether to choose the elective option or the traditional Camp Lejeune claim route, contact Veterans Disability Info at 888.308.2191 or Connect Online for a free case consultation with a VA disability lawyer. We can evaluate your case, discuss your options, and help you decide which type of claim would provide the best outcome.

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If you are having trouble obtaining benefits, contact us online or at 888.878.9350 to discuss your case.