Citation Nr: 18139655
Decision Date: 09/28/18	Archive Date: 09/28/18

DOCKET NO. 15-16 523
DATE:	September 28, 2018
REMANDED
Whether new and material evidence has been submitted to reopen a claim of entitlement to service connection for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), including as due to undiagnosed illness is remanded.
Whether new and material evidence has been submitted to reopen a claim of entitlement to service connection for a respiratory disability, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), to include as due to undiagnosed illness is remanded.
Whether new and material evidence has been submitted to reopen a claim of entitlement to service connection for a gastrointestinal disability, including duodenal ulcer, to include as due to undiagnosed illness is remanded.
Whether new and material evidence has been submitted to reopen a claim of entitlement to service connection for migraine headaches, to include as due to undiagnosed illness is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for a ganglion cyst of the right wrist is remanded.
Entitlement to a disability rating in excess of 10 percent for degenerative joint disease (DJD) of the thoracic spine is remanded.
Entitlement to a disability rating in excess of 10 percent for calluses of the bilateral feet is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from June 1990 to April 1992.  This matter is on appeal of a March 2012 rating decision.  
The Veteran’s prior representative, a private attorney, withdrew representation through a written statement sent to the AOJ in July 2015 in compliance with 38 C.F.R. § 14.631(c) (2017).  The record does not contain any current executed form (either a VA Form 21-22 or a VA Form 21-22a) appointing a valid representative in these matters, and the Board proceeds with the understanding that the Veteran is appearing pro se.
All Issues on Appeal
Following the May 2015 statement of the case (SOC), VA added additional medical evidence to the Veteran’s file both prior to, and after the appeal was certified to the Board in April 2016. 
Pertinent evidence is initially reviewed by the agency of original jurisdiction (AOJ).  Additional pertinent evidence that becomes available after the RO’s SOC but prior to certification to the Board is to be addressed in an additional supplemental statement of the case (SSOC).  38 C.F.R. § 19.31(b).  After certification to the Board, such evidence must be referred back to the AOJ for initial review.  38 C.F.R. §§ 19.37(b) and 20.1304(c).  Exceptions are when the Veteran or his representative waives this review, or when the Board grants the benefit being sought in full.  Id.  
In this case, as the AOJ added pertinent VA treatment records before the case was certified to the Board, and the Veteran has not responded to the Board’s August 2018 letter asking if he wanted to waive initial AOJ review of the evidence submitted after the case was certified, the Board will assume that he would like to have the AOJ complete such initial review and such should be completed on remand.

The matters are REMANDED for the following actions:
1. Obtain and associate with the claims file VA treatment records from August 2017 to the present.
2. After completing the above action, as well as any other development that may be warranted, readjudicate the Veteran’s claims in light of all the evidence of record, including consideration of any evidence added to the record since the May 2015 SOC.  If any benefit on appeal remains denied, in whole or in part, a SSOC must be provided to the Veteran.  After the Veteran has had an adequate opportunity to respond, the appeal must be returned to the Board for appellate review.
 
M. SORISIO
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	L. Wells-Green

 For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency


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