The U.S. Government has set up a series of compensation programs for military personnel who were present at certain nuclear testing locations and, afterward, developed certain types of cancer. These programs cover areas such as Bikini Atoll, Enewetak Atoll, Christmas Island, Johnston Island, areas of Nevada, and others. Collectively, they are referred to as the Atomic Veterans Program. If you or a family member were affected by a nuclear test site, there are several things you should know about filing a claim for compensation.
Not Only Veterans May File for Compensation
While the program is intended for veterans, family members of veterans can apply for compensation even if the veteran is deceased or unable to apply themselves. Additionally, some of the programs cover members of certain Native American tribes and civilians who lived near or worked on a test site. If you lived near a nuclear site such as Bikini Atoll and have since developed a covered condition, you should check your eligibility to file a claim.
Benefits Include Monetary Compensation and Potential Health Care
These programs offer up to $75,000 in monetary compensation. They may also include free treatment of existing issues at veteran association hospitals.
You Need to Have Proof of an Eligible Condition
The program covers many different types of cancers and nonmalignant diseases. The Veteran's Association has a list of twenty-one presumptive cancers. These are cancers that can be presumed to have been caused by radiation exposure. If you or a loved one has had one of the presumptive cancers, you only need to file a claim with proof of their condition from their doctor or hospital, as well as their assignment in one of the covered areas at one of the covered times.
Even if the disease you have suffered from is not on the list, you may still be eligible for full or partial compensation. Your claim will undergo a thorough assessment to determine the amount of radiation you were exposed to and whether it likely contributed to your diagnosis. If it is determined your disease could have been caused by your level of exposure, you will receive partial or full compensation.
If you are a veteran or civilian who lived near a nuclear test site such as Bikini Atoll, make sure you know the resources available to you. If you need assistance when determining your eligibility or applying for benefits, there are several organizations that can help and support you.
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