Board erred in denying PGW Vet separate disability ratings
The Veteran was rated at 40-percent for symptoms arising from his service in Saudi Arabia. These symptoms included chest pain, joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, and irritable bowel symptoms. His symptoms were regarded as an undiagnosed illness and rated by analogy to fibromyalgia under diagnostic code 5025. CCK argued that the Board erred in denying separate disability ratings for IBS and headaches. CCK also argued that the Board erred when it failed to consider separate disability ratings for each painful joint.
The Court held that the Board erred in denying separate disability ratings for IBS and headaches under 38 C.F.R. § 4.114, DC 7319 and 38 C.F.R. § 4.124a, DC 8100, respectively. It also held that the Board failed to consider separate disability ratings for each of his painful joints under 38 C.F.R. § 4.59.
Regarding IBS, the Board did not explain why the Veteran’s bowel symptoms were not ratable by analogy to another diagnostic code associated with the digestive system. The Board failed to consider a VA examiner’s opinion that the Veteran’s medication indicated he suffered from headaches severe enough to cause him to stop work. Regarding each of the Veteran’s painful joints, the Court noted that the Board made no credibility finding with respect to lay statements of joint pain observed by the Veteran’s coworkers and wife. Thus, the Court determined it must treat the lay statements as both competent and probative. Therefore, the Board was required to consider rating the Veteran’s joint pain per each separate joint. The Court set aside the Board’s decision and remanded for further proceedings.
To read the Court’s decision, click here.
- Board erred in denial of increased rating for headaches
- CCK Successfully Appeals Board Decision to Deny Increased Rating that Uses Inadequate Examination Report
- CCK Successfully Argues that Board Relies on Inadequate VA Examination to Deny Higher Ratings for Left Knee and Low Back Disability
- BVA Denial of Right Hand Disability Based on Inadequate VA exam
- Denial of separate ratings for knee disabilities, instability was improper
- Do I Qualify for Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployment?
- How Do I Increase My VA Disability Rating?
- Can VA Take Away Your Disability Rating?
- What Are Some Common Disability Coverage Limitations?
- How Can I Receive VA Disability Benefits After Burn Pit Exposure?
- VA Disability For Depression & Anxiety
- VA Disability Benefits for Diabetes
- VA Disability Benefits for Respiratory Conditions
- VA Disability For Knee Conditions And Pain
- VA Disability Benefits for Anxiety
- Extraschedular VA Ratings Definition
- Staged Ratings Definition
- Service-Connected Disability Definition
Share this Post