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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veterans’ Benefits: Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-154)

Christine Scott, Coordinator
Specialist in Social Policy

Congress has in the past enacted legislation providing authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to treat certain veterans for specific medical conditions resulting from their exposure to certain toxic substances or environmental hazards while on active military duty.

In the 1980s, officials at Camp Lejeune became aware of the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water samples. Camp Lejeune was placed on the National Priorities List by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1989, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry continues to monitor samples from the water table.

The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 (H.R. 1627, P.L. 112-154, enacted on August 6, 2012) provides authority for the VA to provide medical services for 15 specific illnesses to certain veterans as well as their eligible family members, who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from January 1, 1957, to December 31, 1987.

In addition to providing the VA authority to provide medical services associated with these specific illnesses to veterans and their families stationed at Camp Lejeune during this time period, P.L. 112-154 makes a number of changes to other VA programs, including housing and other benefit programs. Some of these changes affect VA administration and expand congressional oversight of the VA through increased reporting to Congress, while other changes made by P.L. 112-154 would impact the larger population of veterans. That is, the changes would impact all veterans utilizing these programs, not just veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune during the above specified period.

This report provides information on the various provisions of P.L. 112-154 by program, benefit, or topic, rather than by each legislative provision. However, for each change in a program, benefit, etc., the section number of P.L. 112-154 is provided.

Date of Report: November 5, 2012
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: R42810
Price: $29.95

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