Citation Nr: 1648560	
Decision Date: 12/08/16    Archive Date: 01/06/17

DOCKET NO.  13-12 842	)	DATE
	)
	)

On appeal from the
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Oakland, California


THE ISSUE

Entitlement to a rating in excess of 10 percent for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 


REPRESENTATION

Veteran represented by:	California Department of Veterans Affairs


WITNESS AT HEARING ON APPEAL

The Veteran


ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD

K. M. Schaefer, Counsel

INTRODUCTION

The Veteran served on active duty from October 1988 to October 1992.  

This case comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal of an August 2010 rating decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Oakland, California.  

In August 2016, the Veteran testified at a hearing before the undersigned, via videoconference.  A transcript of the proceeding is of record. 


REMAND

The Board determines that the appeal must be remanded so that another VA examination can be conducted to assess the current severity of the Veteran's GERD.  The most recent examination was performed in April 2015.  At her August 2016 hearing, the Veteran testified that her disability had become worse since that examination.  Snuffer v. Gober, 10 Vet. App. 400, 403 (1997); see also Green v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 121, 124 (1991).  Therefore, another VA examination is warranted.

Accordingly, this case is REMANDED to the RO or the Appeals Management Center (AMC), in Washington, D.C., for the following actions:

1.  The RO or the AMC should undertake appropriate development to obtain any outstanding records pertinent to the Veteran's claim.

2.  The Veteran should be afforded the appropriate examination to determine the current degree of severity of her GERD.  All pertinent evidence of record must be made available to and reviewed by the examiner, and any indicated tests and studies should be performed.
The examiner must provide accurate and fully descriptive assessments of all symptoms and must comment upon the frequency and severity of the Veteran's symptoms in accordance with VA rating criteria.  

3.  The RO or the AMC should also undertake any other development it determines to be necessary. 

4.  Then, the RO or the AMC should adjudicate the issue remaining on appeal.  If the benefit sought on appeal is not granted to the Veteran's satisfaction, a supplemental statement of the case should be issued to the Veteran and her representative, and they should be afforded the requisite opportunity to respond.  Thereafter, the case should be returned to the Board for further appellate action.

By this remand, the Board intimates no opinion as to any final outcome warranted.

The Veteran need take no action until he is otherwise notified, but he may furnish additional evidence and/or argument during the appropriate time frame.  See Kutscherousky v. West, 12 Vet. App. 369 (1999).












This claim must be afforded expeditious treatment.  The law requires that all claims that are remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals or by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for additional development or other appropriate action must be handled in an expeditious manner.  See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5109B, 7112 (West 2014).



_________________________________________________
T. REYNOLDS
Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals
Under 38 U.S.C.A. § 7252 (West 2014), only a decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals is appealable to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  This remand is in the nature of a preliminary order and does not constitute a decision of the Board on the merits of your appeal.  38 C.F.R. § 20.1100(b) (2016).



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