Board Determines Veteran’s Effective Date to be a Year Prior to Her Request to Open a Previously Denied Claim
CCK succeeded in appealing a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that denied the Veteran an effective date earlier that October 9, 2007, for service connection for her Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The Board found this was the proper effective date as it was a year before the Veteran filed her request to reopen a previously denied claim of service connection for gastrointestinal problems.
Court Agrees with CCK’s Argument that the Veteran had Submitted New and Material Evidence Within a Year of the Original Claim
On appeal, her attorneys argued that within a year of the October 1997 rating decision denying her original claim, she submitted a medical report showing a diagnosis of IBS and that since this was not a previously established part of her claim, it was sufficient to keep the claim open until VA later adjudicated her October 2008 request to reopen. The Court agreed and held that because she was awarded service connection for IBS as a medically unexplained chronic multi-symptom illness under 38 C.F.R. § 3.317 and her claim remained pending when VA amended the regulation to include a presumption of service connection for veterans who served in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War, she was entitled to an effective date of March 1, 2002, the date the amendment became effective.