(WKBN) – From the early 1950s to the late 1980s, Toxic chemicals seeped into the water supply at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps. training facility in North Carolina.

There is a long list of potential diseases connected to it, just about every type of cancer, including a higher-than-average incidence of male breast cancer. Parkinson’s disease, adult leukemia, and even female infertility.

Navigating through your options can be tricky. There are two different lawsuits you can file: One with the VA and the other with something called a tort.

“At AMVETS, what we’re explaining to veterans is that you have to file on the VA side first, and then if you want, file on the tort side. The reason is because there will be an offset, which means whatever money you have on one side, they’re going to subtract it from the other side,” said Michael Black, national service director for American Veterans (AMVETS).

There are estimates that there could be over 500,000 claims made, so lawyers are putting the word out there, but there are also plenty of free options such as the VA or AMVETS.

Also, if you are looking for an attorney, make sure you find a VA-accredited one that can work on the tort side as well as the VA side.

If you already have an existing VA claim for something else, filing could cause you to lose money.

“There is always a possibility when you reopen a claim. Something has gotten better or you can actually be reduced,” Black said.

Time is of the essence. There is a deadline to file a claim.

“For the VA side there isn’t, but for the tort side, you have until August 10, 2024,” Black said.

The local family of a Camp Lejeune veteran has finally gotten his military benefits for medical problems caused by drinking water, though he didn’t live long enough to see them.

It was March of 2016 when we first brought you the story of Jackson Township’s Dave Metzler and his fight to get benefits that his daughter, Patty, claimed he deserved.

After President Obama allocated money to help Lejeune veterans, Patty made it her five-year mission to make sure her father received his fair share. Her family was awarded full benefits in 2018.

Diseases attributed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • infertility in women
  • Lung cancer
  • Neurobehavioral effects (like ALS & Parkinson’s Disease)

Agencies that can help:

  • Mahoning County Veterans Service Office
    345 Oakhill Ave., Suite 100, Youngstown, OH 44502
    Phone: (330) 740-2451
    Fax: (330) 788-3501
  • Trumbull County Veterans Service Office
    253 E. Market St., Warren, OH 44481
    Phone: (330) 675-2585
    Fax: (330) 675-2484
  • Columbiana County Veterans Service Office
    7989 Dickey Drive, Suite 1, Lisbon, OH 44432
    Phone: (330) 424-7214
    Fax: (330) 424-9692
  • Mercer County Veterans Affairs
    14 Courthouse
    Mercer, Pa 16137
    Ph: 724-662-7511
    Fax: 724-662-7516
  • Veteran’s Office
    Lawrence County Government Center
    430 Court Street
    New Castle, PA 16101
    Phone: (724) 656-2180