Link to original post
Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
PATRICIA A. CASTRO, APPELLANT,
ROBERT L. WILKIE,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before ALLEN, Judge.
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
ALLEN, Judge: Appellant Patricia Castro is the surviving spouse of veteran Juan Castro,
who served the Nation honorably in the United States Army. In this appeal, which is timely and
over which the Court has jurisdiction,1 she contests a September 23, 2019, decision of the Board
of Veterans’ Appeals that denied a disability rating greater than 50% for the veteran’s serviceconnected
PTSD and also denied entitlement to a total disability rating based on individual
unemployability (TDIU).2 Because the Board’s statement of its reasons or bases is inadequate to
enable meaningful judicial review with respect to the veteran’s PTSD disability rating, we will set
aside that decision and remand it for further proceedings. Because entitlement to TDIU is
inextricably intertwined with the veteran’s PTSD disability rating, we will also set aside the Board’s
decision on that issue and remand that matter as well.
Appellant first argues that the Board erred when it determined that the veteran’s serviceconnected PTSD did not entitle him to a disability rating greater than 50%. Among other things,
1 See 38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a), 7266(a).
2 Record (R.) 5-22.
she argues that the Board did not sufficiently explain its reliance on a December 2016 VA medical
opinion and also ignored a statement she submitted in December 2015 discussing the veteran’s
PTSD symptoms and their effects. The Secretary defends the Board’s decision and urges
Read the full thread below
Single Judge; Buchanan v. Nicholson, 451 F.3d 1331, 1334-35 (Fed. Cir. 2006) competent and probative with respect to matters such as the severity of mental health symptoms; Board did not address two related issues with respect to the examiner's conclusion. First, it is not clear why the examiner appeared to limit herself to considering medical evidence when opining about the worsening of the veteran's PTSD. Second, the Board failed to discuss that the VA medical professional apparently categorically limited her opinion to medical evidence, which calls the Board's reliance on that opinion into question;
Designated for electronic publication onlyUNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMSNo. 19-6816PATRICIA A. CASTRO, APPELLANT,V.ROBERT L. WILKIE,SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.Before ALLEN, Judge.MEMORANDUM DECISIONNote: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),this action may not be cited as precedent.ALLEN, Judge: Appellant Patricia Castro is the surviving spouse of veteran Juan Castro,who served the Nation honorably...