CCK recently appealed a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that denied a Veteran entitlement to special monthly compensation (SMC) based on the need for regular aid and attendance or housebound status. In support of his claim, the Veteran stated that he could not prepare meals, bathe, use the bathroom, take his medications, or attach or remove his prosthetic arm without the assistance from his wife. The VA sent the Veteran an examination, and the examiner opined that the Veteran did not require the regular aid and attendance of another person due to his service-connected disabilities. The Board then relied on that examination to deny the Veteran’s claim.
The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims held that the Board committed legal error when it provided inadequate reasons or bases for relying on the above noted VA examination to deny the Veteran’s claim. The Court noted that examination appeared to reflect that the Veteran needed assistance in several regards due to his service-connected disabilities. In addition, the examiner failed to ascertain why the Veteran needed assistance using the bathroom. The Court determined that remand was required for the Board to provide adequate reasons or bases for relying on the examination opinion, or to obtain a new examination opinion, addressing the role the Veteran service-connected disabilities play in his need for aid and attendance. The Court then vacated the Board’s decision, and remanded the case for further proceedings.