Board Does Not Fulfill its Duty to Assist in Herbicide Exposure Claim

Board Does Not Fulfill its Duty to Assist in Herbicide Exposure Claim

Board Decision Denies Veteran Service Connection for Diabetes Mellitus due to Herbicide Exposure

CCK successfully appealed a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that denied the veteran service connection for diabetes mellitus, type II, including as due to herbicide exposure. The veteran claimed that he was exposed to Agent Orange while serving at the Demilitarized Zone in Koreas during the Vietnam War. VA indicated that the Veteran indicated serving at the DMZ during “April 1968 and July.” The Board only required VA to obtain service records for March and April of 1968 in order to try to corroborate the veteran’s DMZ service.

Court Rules that the Board did not Fulfill its Duty to Assist and Remands the Case

The Court found that the Board erred in only requiring VA to search for records during March and April of 1968. The Court ruled that the duty to assist required VA to request records for multiple two-month windows within the time that the veteran indicated he was at the DMZ in order to attempt to verify this service. Due to these rulings, the Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case back to the Board with an order that it require VA to obtain service records for the entire period that the veteran indicated he served at the DMZ.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Court Wins