Board Must Consider Combined Effects of Disabilities on Employability

Board Must Consider Combined Effects of Disabilities on Employability

Board Decision Denies Veteran Entitlement to TDIU without Considering Combined Effects of Disabilities

CCK successfully appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims a Board decision that denied the Veteran entitlement to TDIU. The Board noted the Veteran was service connected for seven disabilities, but failed to consider the combined effects of these disabilities on employability. The Board also incorporated the cursory medical conclusions of three VA examiners rather than thoroughly addressing the medical issues raised in these and other medical reports. In its decision, the Board simply concluded that the Veteran’s prior work skills provided him with the skills needed for employment.

Court Agrees with CCK’s Argument that the Board Erred by Failing to Consider Combined Effects and Medical Evidence

CCK argued, and the Court agreed, that the Board erred when it failed to consider the combined effects of the Veteran’s disabilities on employability, and when it neglected several significant issues raised by the medical evidence of record. The Board failed to address the effects of medications on the veteran’s ability to work, and also failed to address portions of the VA examinations that were contradictory on their face. Finally, the Board failed to explain why the Veteran’s prior work as a logger and heavy machine operator would allow him to work, despite the fact that his physical limitations would affect his ability to resume physically demanding work. The Court set aside the Board’s decision to deny TDIU and remanded the case back to the Board for further proceedings.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Court Wins