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    • Wablackwell, Not sure if you have filed yet or not, but the DBQ will definitely trigger the VA to complete a C&P exam.  Its been my experience after filing with documentation from an outside provider I was scheduled within a month or two after submitting the evidence. Along with your DBQ and the letter if you were deployed you should highlight your campaign medals and expeditionary medals on your 214. it wouldn't hurt to have the orders and order your LESs from DFAS showing you were receiving hazardous duty and or hostile fire pay. 
    • This, alllllll correct, YOU never lay aside your Weapons soldier, pick that shit back up and march onward.
    • Just to reitterate, these opinions are based on my own experience. When you have a Claim in, don't file New claims. They would looooove to kick it back "downstairs" for the slightest reason. Keep your Focus on TARGET
    • So, as of now in 50% Scheduler Rated. My Lawyer's Case Manager swears up down left and right that i will receive 70%Sched, 100TDIU and T&P I am only 33 years old. Here's some info: I have been out for 16 years. Grand total of earnings BEFORE TAXES, $116K Averaged out by 16 years, 7,625.50 a year. Only 4 of those 16 years in total did i breach the Poverty Line. 2 years were 0, you know, while i was homeless I have attended and droped out of College 2x I have Vocational Skill training as a Phlebotomist 2 I unfortunately also have drug and assault charges, misdemeanors yes, but hospitals wont even give a "criminal" a interview. So we shall see, Age is not something they are Currently using as a basis for TDIU, but always remember! Every claim no matter what percent should have a "Infered" claim to TDIU, in both Chapters  A) AND B) of the regulations concerning TDIU, so ALWAYS file a NOD upon receiving your Bennies Award Letter!!!
    • Agreed, that was my thoughts also. Thanks for the confirmation.

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Guest Berta

Astonishing Ptsd -hbp Bva Decision!

1 post in this topic

I think this is an astonishing and fairly recent decision because Dr. Boscarini's work is acknowledged in this decision- (as a treatise)

His work on PTSD has never been given much credence by VA-in the past -unfortunately-

And it is a good example of the way Relative Equipoise is supposed to work.

Citation Nr: 0521679

Decision Date: 08/10/05 Archive Date: 08/19/05

DOCKET NO. 93-23 884 ) DATE

)

)

On appeal from the

Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Newark, New

Jersey

THE ISSUE

Entitlement to service connection for hypertension.

REPRESENTATION

Appellant represented by: New Jersey Department of

Military and Veterans' Affairs

ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD

Ronald W. Scholz, Senior Counsel

INTRODUCTION

The veteran served on active duty from July 1968 to April

1970.

This matter comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals

(Board) on appeal from a February 1992 rating decision by the

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in

Newark, New Jersey which denied service connection for

hypertension.

The Board remanded the issue on appeal in October 1995,

November 1999, and September 2003. In its September 2003

Remand, the Board directed a VA examination to determine

whether the veteran's hypertension was caused or aggravated

by his service-connected PTSD.

FINDING OF FACT

The evidence of record is in equipoise with respect to the

question of whether the veteran's diagnosed hypertension is

secondary to his service-connected PTSD

CONCLUSION OF LAW

Hypertension is proximately due to the veteran's service-

connected PTSD. 38 U.S.C.A. § 1110, 5107 (West 2002); 38

C.F.R. § 3.102, 3.310 (2004).

REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDING AND CONCLUSION

In light of the favorable action taken herein, discussion of

whether VA duties pursuant to the Veterans Claims Assistance

Act of 2000 (VCAA) have been satisfied is not required. The

Board finds that no further notification or assistance is

necessary, and deciding the appeal at this time is not

prejudicial to the veteran.

Factual Background

The veteran has been service-connected for PTSD since May

1992.

Medical evidence of record reflects that the veteran has a

current diagnosis of hypertension.

Pursuant to a September 2003 Board Remand, the veteran

received a VA medical examination in April 2004. The

examining VA physician concluded there was no relationship

between the veteran's service-connected PTSD and his

hypertension and, further, that PTSD did not cause

hypertension or contribute to any exacerbations of

hypertension.

An April 2005 letter from Alfred M. Dipiero, D.O., noted that

the veteran had been under his care for hypertension, and

concluded that the hypertension resulted from the veteran's

service-connected PTSD.

Legal Criteria

.

Service connection may also be granted on a secondary basis

if a claimed disability is found to be proximately due to, or

is the result of, an established service-connected disease or

injury. Establishing service connection on a secondary basis

requires evidence sufficient to show: (1) that a current

disability exits, and (2) that the current disability was

either (a) caused by or (;) aggravated by a service-

connected disease or injury. 38 C.F.R. § 3.310(a) (2004);

See Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 446 (1995).

The Secretary shall consider all information and lay and

medical evidence of record with respect to benefits under

laws administered by the Secretary. When there is an

approximate balance of positive and negative evidence

regarding any issue material to the determination of a

matter, the Secretary shall give the benefit of the doubt to

the claimant. 38 U.S.C.A. § 5107(B) (West 2002); 38 C.F.R.

§ 3.102 (2004).

Analysis

The evidence with respect to whether the veteran has a

current disability, hypertension, is not in dispute. The

record reflects that the veteran was first diagnosed with,

and treated for, hypertension, sometime in the 1970's.

In its September 2003 Remand, the Board directed that a VA

medical examination be conducted to determine whether the

veteran's service-connected PTSD caused or aggravated the

veteran's hypertension. Subsequently, two medical opinions

have been obtained and added to the file, both of which are

remarkably inadequate with respect to providing any rationale

for their diametrically opposed conclusions.

The first, a report of an April 2004 VA medical examination,

concluded that there is no relationship between the veteran's

service-connected PTSD and his hypertension. No rationale of

any kind, however, is provided for that conclusion.

The second, a letter from a private physician who has treated

the veteran for his hypertension for many years, concluded

that the veteran's hypertension resulted from his service-

connected PTSD. Again, no rationale of any kind is provided

for that conclusion.

Other than the two medical opinions discussed above, there is

no evidence of record with respect to the issue of secondary

service-connection for hypertension resulting from the

veteran's PTSD.

The Board finds that the evidence with respect to secondary

service-connection is in approximate balance, as there is no

sound basis for choosing one medical opinion over the other.

When there is an approximate balance of positive and negative

evidence regarding any issue material to the determination of

a matter, the benefit of the doubt shall be given to the

claimant and, accordingly, the claim must be granted.

In reaching this determination, the Board notes that the fact

that PTSD was recognized after hypertension was diagnosed is

not determinative, since the record is not lcear as to when

PTSD first existed. Furthermore, in reaching this

determiantion, the Board notes that the VA published

information in the Federal Register. The study did find a

statistically significant increased incidence of hypertension

and chronic heart disease among World War II veterans with

PTSD (odds ratio = 1.25 for hypertension and 1.19 for chronic

heart disease). The conclusion that PTSD may be associated

with cardiovascular disorders is also supported by a 1997

study finding that Vietnam veterans diagnosed with PTSD had a

significantly increased risk of circulatory disease many

years after service. (Boscarino JA. Diseases Among Men 20

Years After Exposure to Severe Stress: Implications for

Clinical Research and Medical Care. Psychosom Med 1997;

59:605-14.) 69 FR 60083-01. In view of the lack of reasoning

in each pertinent medical opinion, the favorable evidence at

least has some support in a document placed in the Federal

Register by VA.

ORDER

Entitlement to service connection for hypertension, secondary

to the veteran's service-connected PTSD, is granted.

____________________________________________

H.N. SCHWARTZ

Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals

Department of Veterans Affairs

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