BVA improperly denied increased rating for left knee condition

BVA improperly denied increased rating for left knee condition

CCK successfully appealed a Board decision that denied the Veteran an increased rating for his left knee condition.  The Board awarded the Veteran a 20% rating for left knee instability under diagnostic code 5257.  However, it denied him a 30% rating under this code because it found his impairment was not “pronounced.”  On appeal, CCK asserted that the Board erred in adopting a legal standard exceeding what is required by law.  The diagnostic code only requires the impairment be “severe” in order for a 30% evaluation to be warranted.  In addition, CCK argued that the Board did not provide the necessary reasons or bases for its denial of a higher rating.  The Board noted only two objective demonstrations of instability, however, objective evidence is not required.  Plus, the Board did not account for other evidence of instability.

Board failed to provide adequate statement of reasons or bases in denial of left knee condition

The Court agreed with CCK’s arguments, finding that the Board failed to adequately explain its decision.  The Court set aside the Board’s decision and remanded the case for readjudication.  Accordingly, the Board must make a new determination regarding whether the evidence establishes the need for a higher rating.

Category: Veterans Law, Court Wins