Court Remands Psychiatric Claim Due To Board’s Failure To Consider Evidence
CCK successfully appealed a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision that denied a U.S. Army Veteran entitlement to an increased rating for a service-connected depressive and anxiety disorder. CCK argued that the Board improperly denied the Veteran an increased rating for his condition despite evidence showing numerous instances of suicidal ideation during the time period on appeal. CCK argued that the Board held the Veteran to a higher standard than the rating criteria required.
The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims held that the Board committed prejudicial legal error when it failed to explain why multiple instances of suicidal ideation over the course of the period on appeal did not warrant a higher rating. The Court determined that although the Veteran never demonstrated suicidal intent or planning, the Board erred when it failed to discuss the evidence in the context of the correct rating criteria. Therefore, the Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings.