Citation Nr: 18124062
Decision Date: 08/06/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 11-18 921
DATE:	August 6, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU) due to service-connected disabilities prior to August 13, 2012, and from February 16, 2017, is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran had active military service in the Army from January 1988 to June 1988 and from July 1998 to December 2000.  
This appeal comes to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) from a June 2009 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Chicago, Illinois. 
In February 2018, the Veteran testified at a videoconference hearing before the undersigned Veterans Law Judge.  A transcript of the hearing has been associated with the claims file.  The Veteran’s request to hold the record open for 60 days for the submission of additional evidence was granted by the undersigned Veterans Law Judge.  
Entitlement to a TDIU due to service-connected disabilities prior to August 13, 2012, and from February 16, 2017, is remanded.
During the Veteran’s February 2018 Board hearing, he testified that he had applied for Social Security disability benefits.  These records may also be relevant to the issue of entitlement to TDIU; however, the claims file does not contain such records.  Thus, on remand, the agency of original jurisdiction (AOJ) should secure from the Social Security Administration (SSA) the records of any decision on the Veteran’s disability claim, as well as the medical records relied on.  
Also, during the Veteran’s hearing, the Veteran and his representative stated that they had a statement from the Veteran’s VA physician, Dr. L., regarding the functional restrictions that Veteran’s disabilities caused.  Transcript, page 16.  The Veteran’s representative reported that he would submit this document.  However, a review of the records shows that this document has not been associated with the Veteran’s claims file.  Thus, the AOJ should also request the Veteran submit this evidence.  
In an August 2018 rating decision, the AOJ deferred action on the claim for service connection for a psychiatric disorder, pending VA examination clarification.  Necessary action should be taken to develop and adjudicate this claim, as it is inextricably intertwined with the TDIU issue on appeal.
Further, the Board finds that a remand is necessary to obtain a TDIU opinion regarding the impact that the Veteran’s service-connected disabilities have on his occupational and social functioning.  
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Obtain any outstanding VA treatment records and associate with the claims file.  
2. Request the Veteran to submit the medical document from his VA physician, Dr. L., regarding the functional restrictions that the Veteran’s disabilities cause.  See February 2018 Hearing Transcript, page 16.
3. Request the Veteran to complete and return an updated VA Form 21-8940, Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability, as well as an updated VA Form 21-4192, Request for Employment Information in Connection with Claim, from his former employer. 
4. Contact SSA and secure for the record copies of all decisions and the medical records considered in any determination of the Veteran’s claim for SSA disability benefits.  If such records are unavailable, the reason for their unavailability must be explained for the record.
5. Develop as necessary and adjudicate the claim for service connection for a psychiatric disorder.  
6. Obtain a TDIU medical opinion addressing the impact of all of the Veteran’s service-connected disabilities.  The VA examiner should comment upon the Veteran’s ability to function in an occupational environment, to include sedentary and non-sedentary work environments, with respect to all of his service-connected disabilities.  The VA examiner should document any reported education and work experience.  Specifically, the VA examiner should address this for the periods prior to August 13, 2012, and from February 16, 2017.  Age and nonservice-
(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
 
connected disabilities should not be considered or discussed.

 
BARBARA B. COPELAND
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	J. Crawford, Associate Counsel

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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