Board Erred When It Failed To Give Adequate Reasons Or Bases For Denial Of Increased Rating For PTSD
The Court agreed that the Board failed to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases to support its denial of an initial rating in excess of 30 percent for PTSD. Specifically, the Court held that the Board listed the available evidence but failed to provide any independent analysis to compare the Veteran’s symptoms to the rating criteria. Instead, the Board merely recited the VA examiners’ conclusions regarding the severity of the Veteran's PTSD. In doing so, the Board confused the roles of the examiner and rating specialist. Because the Board abrogated its responsibility, as fact finder, to assign the appropriate disability rating based on the Appellant's disability, remand was required.