Favorable evidence not considered by Board in denial of increased rating for PTSD

Favorable evidence not considered by Board in denial of increased rating for PTSD

Summary

CCK successfully appealed to the Court a Board decision that denied the Veteran an increased rating for PTSD.   The Veteran was seeking an increased rating for PTSD in excess of 30% prior to March 7, 2012.  During the course of his appeal, the Veteran passed away and CCK moved to substitute his widow as the claimant.  CCK argued that the Board failed to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases for its denial.  Specifically, the Board failed to explain why some favorable evidence was not addressed or discussed in the decision and thus why an increased rating was not warranted.

Court found Board’s explanation inadequate

The Court found that the Board’s statement of reasons and bases for its denial was inadequate in two ways.  First, the Board erred by failing to discuss evidence showing that the Veteran suffered from symptoms that may have been indicative of a higher rating.  Some of the Veteran’s symptoms the Board failed to discuss are expressly written in various levels of higher rating criteria.  Second, the Board failed to address the Veteran’s 2009 statement that his PTSD symptoms had “increased over time to the point of incapacity to work.”  Because the Board failed to address and discuss the material, favorable evidence of record, the Court further deemed the Board’s explanation of its decision to be inadequate.

The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.

 

Category: Veterans Law, Court Wins