Board Denies Veteran’s Claim for Service Connection for Hypertension as Secondary to Service-Connected PTSD
CCK successfully represented a veteran before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in appealing a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision in which the Board denied the Veteran service connection for hypertension including as secondary to his service-connected PTSD. In denying the Veteran’s claim, the Board relied on a VA medical examination in which the examiner found “there is no evidence that the [appellant’s] PTSD has permanently worsened his hypertension beyond its natural progression.”
CCK Successfully Argues that There Is No Requirement of Permanent Worsening for Claimant to be Entitled to Service Connection due to Aggravation
On appeal, CCK argued that that there is no requirement of permanent worsening for a claimant to be entitled to service connection based on aggravation. CCK further noted that service connection as due to aggravation is warranted when the aggravation is not the result of the natural progression of the condition. The Court found that the VA examination was inadequate as a result and that the Board erred in relying on it to deny the claim. Thus, the Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case back to the Board with instructions for it to make a new decision on the issue of service connection for the hypertension.
To read the Court’s decision, click here.