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Court Wins

CCK Helps Air Force Veteran Secure Increased Rating and SMC Benefits

Lisa Ioannilli

October 5, 2022

Updated: November 20, 2023


Summary of the Case

The Veteran served in the United States Air Force between 1965 and 1969.  In 2008, the Veteran filed their first claim for VA disability benefits for diabetes mellitus type II, an eye condition, kidney cancer, a heart condition, bilateral lower and upper peripheral neuropathy, and narcolepsy.

Later in 2008, VA issued a Rating Decision granting service connection for diabetes at 20 percent and hemorrhoids at 0 percent.  VA deferred the other claimed conditions.

Then in 2009, VA issued a decision rating coronary artery disease (CAD) at 30 percent, tinnitus at 10 percent, hypertension at 10 percent, and bilateral hearing loss at 0 percent – all with an effective date of when the Veteran filed the first claim.  However, VA denied service connection for a back condition, vision issues, a digestive condition, erectile dysfunction, a prostate condition, a skin condition, peripheral neuropathy, and a memory condition.  VA also denied an increased rating for diabetes.  The Veteran did not appeal this decision.

In 2011, the Veteran opened a new claim by filing for service connection for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), peripheral neuropathy, and an increased rating for diabetes.  VA continued to issue denials until 2016 when the Veteran hired Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick as representation.

CCK Takes the Case

In 2017, VA issued a Rating Decision granting service connection for PTSD with an effective date of December 2011.  Still, CCK believed the Veteran should be entitled to more compensation and filed a Notice of Disagreement, seeking an increased rating for PTSD and TDIU benefits.  VA responded by issuing a Statement of the Case denying the claim.

CCK Appeals to the Board

Subsequently, CCK appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals by filing a VA9 appeal.

The Board increased the Veteran’s PTSD rating to 70 percent and granted entitlement to TDIU.  Eventually, VA also awarded the Veteran DEA benefits and SMC(s).  Through years of persistence, and with the help of the skilled advocates at CCK, the Veteran finally secured all the benefits they deserved.

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.

See more about Lisa