On September 22, 2014, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) granted service connection for an acquired mental health disorder and tinnitus for a Navy veteran. These disabilities related to documented TBI incidents that occurred while on active-duty service during the 1980s. The Board remanded to the VA Regional Office to assess the level of disability for the now-service connected mental health disorder and tinnitus, as well as evaluate the rating percentage for the veterans’ service-connected traumatic brain injury (TBI). The claim was originally filed in 2007 and has been pending since that time.
I’ll provide a link to a redacted version of the BVA decision once it is uploaded onto the BVA website. In essence, the BVA simplified an otherwise complicated course of Compensation and Pension (C&P) examinations and confirmed the findings of the veteran’s current treating mental health professional. At the BVA hearing, the Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) sua sponte agreed to advance in docket pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 20.900 without written motion from the veteran and quickly resolved a complex issue.
There are procedural and substantive nuances to this claim that, hopefully, will not require additional appeal or further comment on my part. . . . The After Action Report (AAR) is straightforward: (1) the positive actions of the veteran’s treating mental health professional (a VHA psychologist), who provided written clarification of the association between the veteran’s head injuries and level of disability, provided sufficient insight and analysis for the VLJ to quickly and efficiently resolve the issue on appeal.
Again, the BVA decision does not necessarily resolve all issues related to the veteran’s claim. The claim file will be remanded back to the Newark Regional Office for “expeditious treatment” in accordance with the BVA decision pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 5109B.
If you have questions or concerns about your eligibility for veterans benefits, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free consultation at sdirector@FRE-L.com or (732) 382-6070.