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Berta

Ptsd Denials

2 posts in this topic

I was surprised to notice today how many legitimate PTSD claims have bee denied by VAROs in 2006.I didnt read them all just enough to wonder what is going on.

This one is good example:

http://www.va.gov/vetapp06/files3/0618731.txt

"The veteran was awarded the air crewman badge which is

indicative of combat exposure. Therefore, the veteran is

entitled to the combat presumption under 38 C.F.R.

§ 3.304(f). Additionally, the veteran's personnel records

reflect that he was a lineman/wireman which likely would have

placed him in a combat zone.

The veteran has reported several credible stressors. At a VA

examination in September 2003, the veteran reported driving a

truck as part of a convoy which was shot at, causing him to

lose control of the truck and get into an accident. At a

hearing before the Board, the veteran's representative stated

that the veteran was repeatedly exposed to rocket and mortar

attacks on Hill 837 (and the veteran indicated that they were

shelled every other night for six months on Hill 837); and

the veteran referenced several accidents in which he ran over

civilians while driving a truck. "

Apparently the VARO screwed up on VCAA or DTA regs too:

"In light of this result, a detailed discussion of VA's

various duties to notify and assist is unnecessary (because

any potential failure of VA in fulfilling these duties is

harmless error)."

"ORDER

Service connection for PTSD is granted."

Is it beyond my comprehension why claims like this cannot be properly resolved at the RO level- cant they read at all?

It took 2 years for this decision from the VA and who knows how many more years it was at the RO-with all the evidence needed to award-and then denied and sent to the BVA.

Makes you sure wonder what the VFW (POA on the brief so I assume on the initial decision too) did to help him-

obvious DTA errors in the RO decision as well as probative evidence in the c file-ridiculous!

(The aircrewman badge does not specify combat but the regs indicate what it is for:

Crew Member: Individual must be on flying status as a crewmember in a specified position or non-crewmember in the case of observers, medical aidmen, gunners, aircraft maintenance supervisors or technical inspection)

I believe his MOS in a combat zone was more indicative of "engaged in combat" for the presumption.)

Edited by Berta

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I think it could be the difference between 38 U.s.c. § 1154 vs. 38 U.s.c. § 1154. Although this is VA law, maybe the BVA reserves the right to discriminate between who was in combat and who was not.

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