BVA did not properly consider evidence that Veteran’s hearing loss deteriorated

BVA did not properly consider evidence that Veteran’s hearing loss deteriorated

The Board should have ordered an exam

CCK successfully appealed a BVA decision that denied an earlier effective (EED) date for a compensable rating for hearing loss.  CCK argued that the Board should have obtained a medical opinion identifying the date when the Veteran likely first qualified for a 10 percent disability rating for his hearing loss.

The Board did not properly consider favorable material evidence

The Court agreed with CCK’s arguments.  The Board erred when it relied solely upon a 2006 audiometric test to deny an EED prior to 2011.  Specifically, the Board did not properly consider favorable material evidence that the Veteran’s hearing loss deteriorated to determine if a retrospective evaluation was necessary.  Additionally, the Court agreed that the Board erred when it denied the Veteran referral for extraschedular consideration.  The Board did not consider evidence showing the Veteran’s service-connected tinnitus was associated with and affected his service-connected hearing loss.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Veterans Law, Court Wins