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BVA Chairman's Report: Why its important to YOU!


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I usually review the BVA chairmans report, each time it comes out.  (Every year).  Why?

https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp

1.  It helps me choose "which" appeal method I will use:  BVA, HLR, SCL.  On page 32, 2019 version, I read that 20.6 percent, overall, of Veterans appeals are denied by the BVA.  I already know that about 80 percent of claims are denied at the VARO.  So, do you want a 20 percent chance of winning (at the VARO), or an 80 percent chance at the BOARD? 

2.  It helps me decide whether to hire an attorney or not.  If you look, also on Page 32, Attorney represented Vets fare far better than any of the VSO's.  Attorney's lose just 13 percent of the time, while Most VSO's are about double that. 

3.  It answers questions like, "can I appeal a VA life insurance waiver of premium denial".  It shows that the Board decided appeals on insurnace and other VA stuff. 

4.  It helps to find out "how long" I can expect my appeal at the BVA, because it gives time frames. 

    You just need to know where to look. 

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I usually review the BVA chairmans report, each time it comes out.  (Every year).  Why? https://www.bva.va.gov/Chairman_Annual_Rpts.asp 1.  It helps me choose "which" appeal method I will us

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    • By Berta
      I feel like asking the BVA to CUE itself but I dont have a BVA case.
      There are 3 law judges here . 2 opining on an older NAs report and only one, the third case judge below ,  knows what he is talking about- as the remand in that third case here calls for the consideration of the 2012 report-
      Previously the HAS considered a limited and/or suggestive " association of AO to causing HBP- but after the 2010 , they found a "Sufficient" association between AO and HBP
      In this remand dated 04/28/20
        In part it states: "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical trainingIn this remand (dated 04/28/20) "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD.   With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case.  Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely.  The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR.  Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate.   In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure.   In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update.  The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.”  While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided  a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here.  SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt BUT Yet the two AO Hypertension BVA awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) to the most recent AO HBP NAs report which I have posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txtIn this remand dated 04/28/20 "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD.   With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case.  Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. 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Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR.  Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate.   In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure.   In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update.  The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.”  While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided  a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here.  SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. 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The first two remands here are wrong -maybe I should contact the BVA ombudsman, because two of three of these decisions ( and maybe there are more) are in conflict, with the most recent NAS report,dated 2018 , In the final third BVA case lawyer correctly determined it had to be considered by the RO. This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear-  "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." , and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion."   Caroline B. FlemingIn this remand dated 04/28/20 "Furthermore, the Board notes that the Veteran has medical training, and new research, memorialized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), shows a positive association between hypertension and herbicide exposure in service. However, there is insufficient evidence of record by which the Board can make a decision. The Veteran was not afforded a VA examination to determine the nature and etiology of his hypertension, and the Board affords the Veteran every benefit of the doubt. As the four McLendon elements are satisfied, the Veteran is entitled to a VA examination and medical opinion." Caroline B. Fleming Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated: "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD.   With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case.  Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely.  The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion." Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR.  Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate.   In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure.   In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update.  The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.”  While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided  a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here.  SHEREEN M. MARCUS Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files5/20032464.txt Yet the two AO Hypertension awards ( maybe there are more by now) clearly refers to (as I did in the accrued claim I have pending) tothe most recent AO HBP NAs report which Ihave posted here in the AO forum months ago: "In the alternative, as explained above, the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in service and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) moved hypertension from the “limited or suggestive” category and indicated that there is now “sufficient evidence” of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure. See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018). Also, early onset peripheral neuropathy is a disease that is presumed to be associated with herbicide agent exposure. Lastly, the Board has awarded service connection for diabetes mellitus and hypertension and neuropathy are recognized by VA as being potential complications of diabetes." And "The clinician must provide reasons for each opinion given. In this regard, the clinician should address the NAS’s determination that there is now sufficient evidence of an association between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure (See Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)). The fact that hypertension is not yet on the list of diseases presumed to be associated with exposure to Agent Orange should not be the basis for a negative opinion." https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20024447.txt This case was decided on 04/09/20 Jonathan Hager Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals Right ---the 2012 report is clear-  "sufficient evidence of association between AO and Hypertension." Veterans Law Judge Board of Veterans’ Appeals https://www.va.gov/vetapp20/files4/20029600.txt But in this case the BVA stated:   "The Board previously denied this claim in a February 2019 decision finding the most persuasive evidence of record did not support a nexus between hypertension and service or his PTSD. With regard to Agent Orange exposure, the Board noted recent NAS findings (the most recent Agent Orange update) indicative of “limited or suggestive” association between hypertension and herbicide exposure, but found such association was not conclusive in this Veteran’s specific case. Rather, according to a June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the examiner’s research into the relevant medical literature, a connection between Agent Orange exposure and the development of hypertension would only be possible within individuals in the Army Chemical Corps whom directly handled herbicides. Since the Veteran served as an M-113 armored personal carrier and not in the Army Chemical Corps, the June 2018 VA examiner found a nexus in this case unlikely. The Board denied the claim mainly relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion."   Yet in this case ,the BVA stated: "The February 2019 Board denial was vacated and remanded by virtue of a February 2020 JMR. Therein, the parties agreed that the June 2018 VA examination relied upon by the Board was inadequate. In particular, the parties agreed the matter was previously remanded in September 2015 and again in September 2016 for a VA examiner to specifically consider the 2012 NAS conclusion that found suggestive evidence of an association between herbicide exposure and hypertension notwithstanding that VA has not added hypertension to the list of conditions presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. In contrast, the June 2018 VA examiner noted review of the Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine, but no specific mention or consideration of the NAS Agent Orange update. The examiner found a nexus between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure unlikely because “[e]xposure to herbicides is not presumptive for service connection.” While the examiner noted suggestive data of a connection between hypertension and Agent Orange exposure where a serviceman had more direct handling of herbicides, there is nothing in the VA examination report that indicates the examiner specifically considered the NAS Agent Orange update as directed in two prior Board remands." This case was decided a little over 3 weeks later than the other one I posted first here. SHEREEN M. 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"Sufficient" is a higher level of association then many past AO disabilities have had in NAS reports.
      Any takers on this?????? I was stunned to see how two of these law judges were not aware of the NAS 2018 report.
      Tomorrow I might find more BVA judges don't know about it either---- this means on remand, the veteran might get a lousy C & P exam and be denied again, unless the veteran finds out about the NAS 2018 report.
       
       
             
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