Prostatitis denial contained legal error by the Board

Prostatitis denial contained legal error by the Board

Summary

The Veteran served in the United States Navy from 1965 to 1969.  He filed a claim for service-connected compensation for chronic prostatitis.  He was granted service connection at a noncompensable rate in 1973.  In January of 2007, the VA increased his rating to 20% effective May of 2006, the date of his claim for an increased rating.  In April of 2007, the Veteran filed an appeal requesting an increased rating.  He was once again denied in September of 2007.  He filed an appeal to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals in October of that same year.

Appeal to the Board

The Board issued two decisions, one in 2010, and the other in 2011, each requesting that further development be completed in support of the Veteran’s claim.  After completing the required development, the VA found that the Veteran’s chronic prostatitis continued to meet the criteria for a 20% rating in its June 2015 decision.  Once again the Veteran appealed his case to the Board and in February of 2016, a final decision was issued, granting the Veteran a “staged” rating of 40% from May 2006 to February 2011 and 60% after February 2011.  In this decision, the Board found that the evidence of record was incomplete, but still did not refer the Veteran’s case for extraschedular consideration, or consideration beyond the bounds of VA regulation.

CAVC hears the case

CCK successfully appeal to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims the Board decision that denied the Veteran entitlement to an increased rating for prostatitis, to include extraschedular consideration.  CCK argued that the Board did not provide sufficient reasons or bases for its finding.    The Board stated that it was not required to refer the issue of prostatitis for extraschedular consideration since the Veteran’s condition was adequately reflected by the VA regulation as it was written.

CCK wins the Veteran extraschedular consideration for prostatitis

CCK argued, and the Court agreed, that the Board would have to consider the totality of the evidence when determining if there were unusual functional limits presented by the Veteran’s condition.  The Court determined that the Board did not provide an adequate explanation of its reasoning in its denial and set aside the Board’s decision, remanding the case for additional development.  Thus, the Board must provide adequate reasoning in its analysis of the combined effects of the Veteran’s symptoms, and determine if they present an unusual disability picture that requires additional review.

To read the Court’s decision, click here. 

Category: Court Wins