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Court Wins

CCK Helps Vietnam Veteran Suffering from Gunshot Wound Residuals and Parkinson’s Disease

April Donahower

February 1, 2022

Updated: February 16, 2024


Summary of the Case

The Veteran served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1969.  During their service, they were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal and the Purple Heart.  Additionally, they worked as a medical technician, lab assistant, and first aid attendant.

In 2006, the Veteran filed a claim for service connection for a skin condition, gunshot residuals in their legs, right hip, neck, and face, bilateral hearing loss, tinnitus, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), type II diabetes, and hypertension.

In a Rating Decision, VA then granted service connection for PTSD, tinnitus, gunshot wound residuals, and left ear hearing loss, but denied service connection for diabetes, the skin condition, right ear hearing loss, and hypertension.

In response, the Veteran filed a Notice of Disagreement, seeking a higher rating for PTSD, as well as service connection for hypertension and TDIU.  After a long series of appeals, denials, and remands, Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick took the case in 2010.

CCK Takes the Case

CCK got to work to get the Veteran an increased rating for PTSD and service connection for hypertension.  After VA issued another denial, CCK filed a VA9 appeal to continue seeking those benefits.

Finally, in 2011, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) increased the Veteran’s PTSD rating to 70 percent, with an effective date of 2006.  The BVA also remanded the issue of service connection for hypertension.

After readjudication, VA once again denied the claim for hypertension.  CCK, undeterred, submitted another appeal continuing to seek benefits for hypertension, as well as arguing that the Veteran should be entitled to TDIU.

Following a series of denials and appeals, VA granted service connection for coronary artery disease and entitlement to TDIU in 2015.  VA also awarded the Veteran special monthly compensation benefits for being housebound on account of their condition.

Although the Veteran now had TDIU benefits stemming back to 2008, CCK still wanted to establish service connection for hypertension, since the Veteran was entitled to it.  After even more denials, CCK finally established service connection for hypertension on behalf of the Veteran in 2020, securing benefits from 2006.

CCK Helps Veteran Win Special Monthly Compensation Benefits

In addition to helping the Veteran win benefits for the conditions mentioned above, CCK recognized that the Veteran should be entitled to special benefits for aid and attendance.  Whilst arguing for the other claims, CCK also filed a claim for service connection for Parkinson’s Disease and Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) for Aid and Attendance.

In 2019, VA granted SMC for aid and attendance and multiple residuals of Parkinson’s Disease.  Still, CCK was not satisfied.  The veterans’ advocates at CCK filed another appeal, now seeking an increased rating for those residuals and a higher level of SMC, specifically SMC(R).

In August 2021, the Veteran was awarded SMC(R2) for loss of use of both feet due to Parkinson’s disease.  VA also granted increased benefits for urinary incontinence and tremors, both related to Parkinson’s Disease.

Sadly, shortly after receiving benefits, the Veteran passed away.  CCK ensured that the Veteran’s widow received the burial and other benefits she was entitled to as a surviving spouse.

About the Author

Bio photo of April Donahower

April joined Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick in August of 2016 as an Associate Attorney. She currently serves as the Appellate Supervisor in our Veterans Law practice. April’s practice focuses on representing disabled veterans before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

See more about April