VA Publishes Rule to Provide Benefits for Camp Lejeune Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) released the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would publish the rule to expand health benefits for all Veterans who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
“Finally, the VA is taking an important step to show respect for the men and women who served at Camp Lejeune,” said Bilirakis. “Those Veterans already gave so much on behalf of our nation, it was not right they had to sacrifice their overall health, too. I’m glad that now they will have better access to the benefits they need and have earned.”
Bilirakis serves as Vice Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. In the 114th Congress, he authored the Camp Lejeune Reservist Parity Act to require the VA to expand benefits to reservists who served at Camp Lejeune, not only active-duty personnel.
The VA’s rule establishes a presumption of service connection for diseases, like cancer and Parkinson’s, associated with exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.