Citation Nr: 18131257
Decision Date: 08/31/18	Archive Date: 08/31/18

DOCKET NO. 13-14 278
DATE:	August 31, 2018
Entitlement to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) based on service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death is granted.

1.  The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Air Force from January 1974 to December 1977. 
2.  He died in January 2011; the immediate cause of his death, as shown on the death certificate, was basilar skull fractures with subdural hemorrhage, contusions and traumatic axonal injury of brain, due to blunt impact to head.
3.  At the time of his death, service connection was in effect for coronary artery disease associated with hypertension, rated 100 percent disabling.
4.  The only adequate opinion of record addressing the etiology of the Veteran’s death is from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) expert, who opined in June 2018 that there is 50 percent or greater probability that the Veteran’s service-connected coronary artery disease and hypertension were a contributory cause of his death, given that the Veteran’s ability to survive the head injury was limited by his ischemic cardiomyopathy.  
The criteria for entitlement to service connection for the cause of the Veteran’s death are met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1110, 1112, 1131, 1310, 5107(b) (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.303, 3.312 (2017).
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals

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