Board failed to explain why Gulf War presumptions did not apply to claim for service connection

Board failed to explain why Gulf War presumptions did not apply to claim for service connection

Summary

The Veteran served on active duty in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War.  The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied him service connection for skin disorders including alopecia areata and vitiligo.  On appeal, CCK argued that the Board’s denial of service connection was erroneous for two main reasons.  First, the Board erred in relying on an inadequate medical opinion.  Second, the Board erred in failing to explain why the conditions should not be service-connected as medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illnesses in accordance with the presumptions for Gulf War veterans found in 38 U.S.C. § 1117 and 38 C.F.R. § 3.317.

Outcome

The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) agreed that the medical examination was inadequate due to the examiner failing to explain the findings in the report.  Additionally, the Court agreed that the Board failed to adequately explain its determination that the Veteran’s conditions did not constitute a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness.  The Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded for further proceedings.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Veterans Law, Court Wins