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Court Wins

CCK Helps Iraq Veteran Increase VA Rating for Asthma

Kaitlyn Degnan

August 2, 2022

Updated: November 20, 2023


Summary of the Case

The Veteran served in the United States Army from February 2003 to June 2003 and from September 2005 to December 2006.  During his service, the Veteran served abroad in Iraq.

In 2008, the Veteran filed his first claim for stomach pains, lower back pain, and respiratory problems.  VA denied the claim in February 2009.  The Veteran then filed a Notice of Disagreement, still seeking benefits for respiratory issues and a stomach condition.

In 2010, VA issued a Statement of the Case which again denied disability benefits for breathing issues and the stomach condition.  The Veteran once again appealed, this time raising TDIU.  However, in 2013, VA issued a Supplemental Statement of the Case which denied benefits for breathing issues, the stomach condition, and TDIU.

The Veteran then appealed his case to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  The Board issued a decision in 2014 that denied benefits for the stomach disorder and remanded the respiratory condition.  The appeal then reached the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) where a Joint Motion for Remand was granted.

CCK Takes the Case

In October 2015, the Veteran hired CCK to help win his rightfully deserved benefits.  In a February 2016 decision, the BVA finally granted benefits for asthma, and also remanded the Veteran’s stomach condition.

Once service-connection was established for asthma, the Veteran was granted a 10 percent rating effective November 2008, which was when he filed his first claim.

Still, CCK knew the Veteran should be entitled to more benefits, so they filed a Notice of Disagreement.  In a 2017 Rating Decision, VA granted service connection for the Veteran’s stomach condition and rated it at 10 percent with an effective date of November 2008.  The decision also increased the Veteran’s asthma rating from March 2017 onward.

Veteran Finally Secures Rating Increase for Asthma

Later in 2017, VA denied a rating increase for asthma and service connection for a back condition.  After a series of appeals, VA eventually granted service connection for a lower spine condition at 10 percent, with a 2014 effective date.

Following this, the Veteran’s appeal landed at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  The Board denied an increased rating for asthma above 10 percent prior to March 2017 and above 30 percent thereafter.

After a CAVC appeal brought the decision back to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.  Once again, the Board remanded the decision, sending it back down to the Regional Office to adjudicate.

There, VA issued a Supplemental Statement of the Case, once again denying an increased rating for asthma.  Still, CCK was determined to establish an increased rating for asthma and filed a Higher-Level Review in response to the June 2021 Supplemental Statement of the Case.

Finally, in July 2021, VA granted an increased rating for asthma at 60 percent from January 2021 onward.  Finally, after years of appeals, CCK was able to help the Veteran secure the benefits for asthma that he deserves.

About the Author

Bio photo of Kaitlyn Degnan

Kaitlyn joined CCK in September of 2017 as an Associate Attorney. Her practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about Kaitlyn