Board failed to adequately explain why veteran’s depressive disorder did not warrant a higher rating
CCK successfully appealed to the Court a Board decision that denied the Veteran a rating higher than 50% for his service-connected depressive disorder. The Court found that the Board failed to adequately explain why the Veteran’s symptoms did not warrant a higher rating. The Board acknowledged that the veteran suffered from several symptoms contemplated by the 70% rating, including an inability to establish and maintain effective relationships. But the Board denied a 70% rating because the veteran reported having a few close friends and participating in church.
The Court held that the Board did not adequately explain its denial. Specifically, it did not explain why the reference social interaction was inconsistent with an inability to establish and maintain relationships. The Board ignored evidence indicating the veteran did not have close friends and that his wife considered him a hermit. Finally, the Court found the Board erred when it failed to discuss the Veteran’s other symptoms indicative of a 70% rating, including neglect of personal hygiene and impaired impulse control. The Court set aside the Board’s decision and remanded for further proceedings.
To read the Court’s decision, click here.