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Court Wins

Board Failed to Ensure Adequate Medical Examination in Veteran’s Claim for Service Connection for Fatigue Disability

Lisa Ioannilli

April 14, 2017

Updated: November 20, 2023


Board denied claim for service connection for fatigue disability

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied service connection for the Veteran’s claimed fatigue disability.  The Board based its decision in large part on an April 2013 examination.  The examiner found there was no evidence of fatigue that was separate and distinct from the Veteran’s service-connected PTSD.

CCK argued there were issues with the VA medical examination

On appeal, CCK argued that the examiner based her opinion on inaccurate factual premises.  Namely, the examiner stated that there was no post-service treatment for PTSD and stated that a private doctor attributed fatigue to sleep interference as a result of his wife’s use of a CPAP machine.  However, both of these statements were false.   CCK also argued that the examiner did not provide an adequate rationale for finding no link between the PTSD and the fatigue, as the private doctor’s note of record indicated that the fatigue was the result of a lack of sleep caused by the PTSD.

Court finds the Board erred in relying on inadequate medical exam

These errors rendered the examination inadequate for rating purposes.  Because the Board did not ensure the Veteran received an adequate medical examination, the Court set aside the decision.  The Court remanded the issue back to the Board for further adjudication.

About the Author

Bio photo of Lisa Ioannilli

Lisa joined CCK in March 2012. Lisa is a Senior Attorney focusing on representing disabled veterans in claims pending before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

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