Skip to main content
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144
Featured Client Successes

CCK Secures TDIU and Earlier Effective Date for Vietnam Veteran

Jenna Zellmer

March 9, 2021

Updated: November 20, 2023


Summary of the Case

CCK recently secured an increased rating, to include TDIU, and earlier effective date for a Vietnam veteran after a 10-year fight against VA.  The Veteran served on active duty from April 1968 to November 1969.  The Veteran sought CCK’s assistance in appealing a July 2011 decision from the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA).  The Board had denied his claim for entitlement to a disability rating higher than 50 percent for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Upon conclusion of the Veteran’s case at Court, CCK continued representation before the Department of Veterans Affairs.  We sought an increased rating and earlier effective date for the Veteran’s coronary artery disease (CAD), and continued to fight for the Veteran’s proper PTSD rating before VA.  Eventually, the Board agreed with CCK that the Veteran was entitled to a 70-percent rating for PTSD, to include TDIU (total disability based on individual unemployability), effective as of July 2011.  However, the Board continued to do deny an earlier effective date for CAD.

CCK Appeals to the CAVC

Even though the Board had issued a denial for an earlier effective date for coronary artery disease, CCK knew that the Veteran – who served in Vietnam – was entitled to a much earlier effective date under Nehmer.  So, for the second time, the Veteran appealed his case to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) with the help of CCK.  In this appeal, CCK secured a Joint Motion for Remand for the Veteran.  This gave CCK the opportunity to open the appeal period several extra years.

In time, CCK managed to secure a Nehmer grant for the Veteran.  This resulted in a new effective date of November 2003 for his service-connected CAD.   Once his increased rating claims were opened that far back, CCK argued the Veteran was entitled to TDIU under 38 C.F.R. § 4.16(b) all the way back to the date of the original claim.  Finally, the Board agreed with CCK’s arguments and granted the Veteran TDIU starting in November 2003.

About the Author

Bio photo of Jenna Zellmer

Jenna joined CCK in January of 2014 as an appellate attorney, was named Managing Attorney in September of 2019, and now serves as a Partner at the firm. Her law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans at the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See more about Jenna