A recent article found in a Veterans Magazine and read by many Veterans made both an inaccurate and reckless interpretation of the offset provision embodied in Section 804 of the Honoring our Pact Act, otherwise known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (hereinafter “CLJA”).
Inaccurately interpreting the CLJA’s offset provision, the article claims that there would be an offset or suspension of benefits or Medicare if a Veteran makes a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This is NOT true.
Section 804(e)(2) entitled “Subrogation for Health and Disability Benefits Relating to Water Exposure” states “Any award paid under this section shall be offset by the amount of any disability award, payment or benefit provided to the award recipient. . . under Veteran Affairs programs, Medicare or Medicaid … in connection with healthcare or a disability relating to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.” The key phrase explicitly laid out in the act is “disability relating to exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune.”
Unless you are receiving veterans benefits related to a condition that you also claim was caused by the water at Camp Lejeune, your benefits will NOT be affected by filing a Claim under the CLJA.
For example, if you are collecting veterans benefits for a hearing loss or a loss of a finger, injuries clearly unrelated to Water Exposure these benefits WILL NOT be affected.
Even if there is an overlap between the injuries for which you are receiving benefits and those for which you are claiming were caused by the Camp Lejeune water, this will not result in the VA or Medicare retaliating against you by cutting off your benefits. The only possible result in this circumstance may be a repayment to the VA or Medicare out of any reward received under a CLJA claim, not out of your pocket.
Although the Act is new and has not made its way through the courts, the courts must follow the clear and unambiguous language in the Act which certainly does not allow the suspension of benefits.
The attorneys at Frost Law Firm have had success over the decades in negotiating with the government for repayments. These medical liens have been successfully negotiated by our staff to pennies on a dollar. We understand the complexities of Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits and will do everything we can to ensure our clients are able to get the compensation and benefits they are entitled to by law.
To learn more about how filing a Camp Lejeune claim may affect your veterans benefits and how we can help you get every cent you are entitled to, please get in touch.