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What’s the Appeal? A Successful Case Handled by the GAD VA Benefits Team

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied the veteran’s claims for entitlement to an increased rating for a right foot condition and a total disability rating based upon individual unemployability.  The Veteran hired our office to appeal that denial to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Our office was able to favorably resolve this case at the Court through a Joint Motion for Remand, which means that the case will now be transferred back to the Board for the Board to reconsider the issues and correct the errors that were noted at the Court.  Specifically, the VA attorney assigned to the case agreed with our office that the Board had failed to provide adequate reasoning in support of its decision because it failed to consider relevant evidence that either indicated entitlement to a higher rating or was contrary to its stated findings.

For example, the Board found that the evidence did not show that the veteran suffered from symptomatology consistent with a rating higher than 10 percent for his foot condition; however, the Board failed to address evidence indicating that the veteran was suffering from symptomatology that it specifically listed under the 30 percent rating for the foot condition the veteran was suffering from in VA’s rating schedule.  In addition, the Board found that the veteran was capable of performing sedentary employment and that his background would have allowed for transferrable skills that would have enabled him to obtain or maintain substantially gainful employment in a different occupation.  However, the Board failed to address evidence indicating that some of the veteran’s service-connected conditions interfered with his ability to sit and evidence from VA vocational rehabilitation records that indicated that the veteran did not have any transferrable skills when he initially stopped working.  When the case returns to the Board, the Board will be required to consider this evidence and issue a new decision.