In denial of increased rating for diabetes, the Board failed to ensure prior remand compliance

In denial of increased rating for diabetes, the Board failed to ensure prior remand compliance

Summary:

An October 2015 Board decision denied this Vietnam veteran an increased rating for his service-connected diabetes.  However, this issue was previously before the Board in 2014, at which time the Board remanded for a new examination.  The Board instructed that the examiner provide reasons for any opinions given.   The Veteran underwent a VA examination in January of 2015.  The examiner acknowledged that the Veteran met some, but not all, of the criteria for an increased rating for diabetes.  Specifically, the Veteran did not require regulation of activities.  The examiner provided no rationale for this opinion.  When the Veteran’s claim came back before the Board in October of 2015, the Board issued a denial.  This denial was based on the January 2015 VA examination which found the Veteran did not require regulation of physical activities.

Outcome:

CCK argued, and the Court agreed, that the Board erred when it relied on the January 2015 examination, as the examiner provided no rationale for his findings.  Thus, the Board failed to ensure compliance with its own remand order.  The Court vacated the October 2015 denial and remanded the case back to the Board of Veterans Appeals for readjudication.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Veterans Law, Case Wins

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