CCK Helps Fort McClellan Veteran Establish Service Connection After Duty to Assist Error
Facts of the Case
VA issued a Rating Decision denying service connection for all the conditions. The Veteran filed a Notice of Disagreement, appealing the decision.
VA once again denied the claim in a Statement of the Case, leading CCK to file a VA9 appeal. In the appeal, CCK noted that the veteran was exposed to toxins, including herbicide agents (e.g., Agent Orange), while stationed at Fort McClellan, an Army Chemical School in Alabama which was notorious for testing herbicide agents and other chemicals for military use. CCK argued that because the Veteran served at Fort McClellan, VA should concede that herbicide exposure “at least as likely as not” occurred.
The case then moved to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. One year later, in April 2019, the Board remanded the claim back to VA.
CCK Helps the Veteran Establish Service Connection Based on Herbicide Exposure
VA issued a Supplemental Statement of the Case in September 2020 once again denying the Veteran’s claim. In response, CCK filed a Higher-Level Review to appeal the decision.
In February 2021, VA issued a deferred decision. Finally, in December 2021, VA granted service connection for diabetes at 20 percent, peripheral neuropathy at 20 percent, and DIC benefits for the Veteran’s spouse.
In its decision, VA acknowledged that it had made several duty to assist errors regarding the Veteran’s Higher-Level Review. After a lengthy appeal process, the Veteran was finally able to receive the benefits they deserved.
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