A recent report from a top VA watchdog has found that the Department of Veterans Affairs have mishandled nearly 40% of all disability claims filed for exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The mishandled claims have delayed benefits for at least 21,000 Veterans. Since 2017, almost 58,000 claims have been filed with VA related to water contamination at the base that spanned for a period of greater than 30 years. Of those 58,000, 17,200 were denied prematurely without asking for any additional supporting information from the Veteran.
An additional 2,300 Veterans were assigned incorrect effective dates costing them an estimated $14 million in retroactive benefits payments. According to the report Regional Offices displayed a 40% error rate, while the central processing center in Louisville, Kentucky only mishandled 8% of all Camp Lejeune claims received. VA has determined that the mishandling has occurred due to inadequate training for VA decisionmakers at Regional Offices throughout the country. No information has been provided by VA as to how this will be addressed or if any retraining will be provided to VA employees.