What is the Janey Ensminger Act?
Military Family Members Affected by Contaminated Water Can Receive VA Healthcare
In 2012, President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act into law. It was named for Janey Ensminger, daughter of Marine Corps member Jerry Ensminger, who died from leukemia when she was just nine years old. Years later, her father discovered that she likely developed cancer after exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where his family lived when Janey was born. As many as 900,000 may have been exposed to toxic contaminants in the water at the base between 1953 and 1987. The Janey Ensminger Act makes it possible for non-military family members to apply for VA benefits for healthcare related to exposure to these toxins.
Do you know if you are eligible for VA healthcare under the Janey Ensminger Act? You could qualify for benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) if you were affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination from 1953 – 1987. During this time, resident marines and their families were exposed to volatile and toxic organic compounds which have been linked to the development of serious and fatal illnesses. To learn whether you qualify for healthcare benefits under the Janey Ensminger Act, contact our law firm today. The veterans benefits lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP today can explain your eligibility and answer your questions in a FREE consultation.
What Happened at Camp LeJeune?
In 1982, tests revealed that the water at Camp Lejeune contained dangerous contaminants, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can cause cancer and other serious illnesses if ingested or absorbed into the body. Researchers traced these toxic substances to water treatment facilities that provided services to the camp. Poor waste removal and storage practices as well as chemical dumping by nearby, non-military businesses were the source of the contaminants.
Further tests indicated that the water contamination lasted from August of 1953 to December of 1987—more than 30 years. During that time, as many as 900,000 people suffered exposure to these toxins, including the Ensminger family.
However, the military did not release information about this contaminated water to the public until years later.
Then, in 2007, 30 years after the end of the Camp Lejeune water contamination, retired Marine master sergeant Jerry Ensminger found documents from 1981 detailing information regarding a radioactive dump site near a rifle range at Camp Lejeune. According to this report, the waste in this dump site contained strontium-90. Stronium-90 is an isotope that may cause leukemia and other cancers. Ensminger and his family lived at Camp Lejeune during the window of exposure. In 1985, his young daughter Janey died of cancer at only 9 years old.
Subsequently, Jerry Ensminger began campaigning for benefits for both military personnel and family members living at Camp Lejeune. His efforts, as well as those of other advocates, resulted in the Janey Ensminger Act.
Do I Qualify for VA Benefits Under the Janey Ensminger Act?
The Janey Ensminger Act establishes a “presumptive service connection” for certain illnesses associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination. This connection means that you do not have to prove that your condition resulted from exposure to these contaminants. You only need to show that you lived on the base during the contamination (for at least 30 days) and developed a condition.
Now, all family members who resided at the base from 1953 – 1987, or were in utero during such period while the mother resided at Camp Lejeune, are eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care through the VA for any condition or disability associated with exposure to the VOCs that contaminated the base’s water supply.
The Janey Ensminger Act applies to the following conditions:
The best way to determine whether you or your family can receive VA benefits for treatment of your illnesses is to contact a veterans benefits lawyer and share the details of your experience.
Questions on the Janey Ensminger Act? Contact Our North Carolina Attorneys
If you suffered from exposure to toxic, carcinogenic chemicals while staying at Camp Lejeune, then you could qualify for benefits. To learn more about the treatment and compensation you may be eligible for, contact Riddle & Brantley, LLP today. We offer FREE, confidential consultations to our clients. You deserve help for the conditions you or a loved one developed due to contaminated water. We are prepared to stand up for your rights when you need it most.
Call (800) 525-7111 or contact us online for a free, confidential review.