The CLJA Elective Option Claims Process

Considering filing a Camp Lejeune Justice Act claim? The process for reviewing administrative claims under the Elective option may vary, but will follow approximately these steps:

  1. Submission of Claim: The process usually begins with the claimant (individual or organization) submitting a claim under the Elective Option for review by the Department of the Navy. This satisfies the “Presentation Requirement” under this law. The claimant may need to follow a specific format and provide relevant documentation to support their claim. This process is called “perfecting” their claim.
  2. Initial Review: Upon receiving or upon “perfection” of the claim, Department of Navy administrative screens claims made under the Elective Option to ensure a “Qualifying Injury” (one included covered under tiers 1 or 2) is being alleged.
  3. Navy-Initiated Investigation: Department of Navy administrative staff will then carefully analyze the provided documentation to ensure it supports the “perfected” claim. This may include verifying financial records, contracts, invoices, or any other relevant paperwork. Essentially, the Department of the Navy is assessing:
    • Evaluation of Compliance: If the elective option has specific requirements or conditions, the agency will evaluate whether the claimant is in compliance with these requirements. This may involve checking whether the claimant has followed established guidelines or regulations.
    • Evaluation of Eligibility: The agency will determine if the claimant is eligible for the elective option. This assessment may involve verifying the claimant’s status, such as their verifying their service/employment, verifying their place and dates of residency, or other organizational qualifications.

Analyzing these two factors helps verify (1) whether the claimant was diagnosed or treated with a Qualifying Injury (Qualifying Injury); (2) when the diagnosis was made or treatment performed (Date of Diagnosis); (3) when the claimant began residing or working at Camp Lejeune (Date of First Page 6 of 10 Exposure); (4) when the claimant stopped residing or working at Camp Lejeune (Date of Last Exposure); (5) the duration of any absences (Days Absent); and (6) whether the Qualifying Injury resulted in or contributed to death.

  1. Substantiation (Supplementation): If further documentation is needed to prove eligibility for the EO, then the Department of the Navy may request “substantiation” or supplementing information from the claimant. A substantiation request may ask the claimant to provide additional supporting documentation, such as medical records or birth certificates. A substantiation request may also provide the claimant with other documents the Department of the Navy reviewed as part of its EO investigation.
  1. Calculating Compensation: If the claim is approved to be in-compliance, eligible and sufficiently substantiated, the Department of the Navy will calculate the compensation or benefits owed to the claimant based on the EO’s pre-established criteria. This is a quantitative assessment.
  2. Notification of Decision: The Department of Navy’s decision must respond within six months of the claim’s submission. If the claim is approved, the notification will include details of the compensation or benefits to be provided. If the claim is denied or no response is received, claimants have the option to file a suit in federal court. Claimants also have 60 days to accept or deny any approved offer.
  3. Payment or Implementation: If the claim is approved, the Department of the Navy will proceed with payment or the implementation of the elective option, as appropriate. Payment documents will process such payment documents within 60 days or less, provided all documentation is completely accurately in a timely manner.

While the elective option in the Camp Lejeune Justice Act may seem like a convenient choice, victims must weigh their decisions carefully. Beyond the immediate concerns of compensation, there are broader implications to consider – justice, accountability, and the opportunity to tell your story.

Camp Lejeune water contamination is a serious and urgent matter that deserves attention and action. At the Herd Law Firm, PLLC, we support every man, woman, and child (including civilians) exposed to contaminants at Camp Lejeune, and believe you deserve quality and attentive legal representation. We are a Tomball law firm based in Houston, and are proud to be able to aid our veterans and their families in seeking restitution for their injuries. We are honored to have been entrusted by the VFW to handle these claims on behalf of veterans and their families. Contact us at the Herd Law Firm at 713-955-4299 or at to speak with us about the full spectrum of options you have, and make an informed choice.

Please note: with regard to the new Elective Option, all claims must be filed as separate lawsuits no later than August 10th, 2024.

More information is available at Read about Public Elective Option Guidance here.


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