Citation Nr: 18132346
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 16-10 242
DATE:	September 6, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to an initial disability rating in excess of 30 percent for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is remanded.
Entitlement to an initial compensable disability rating for left ear hearing loss is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for right ear hearing loss is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran had active service from June 2002 to November 2002, and from December 2004 to May 2006. 
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA or Board) from May 2012 and March 2015 rating decisions.
In a March 2015 rating decision, the RO denied entitlement to service connection for right ear hearing loss and granted a noncompensable rating for left ear hearing loss. In March 2016, the Veteran submitted notice of disagreement (NOD) as to these issues. A Statement of the Case (SOC) has not been issued and the Board is required to remand, rather than refer, these issues to the attention of the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ). See 38 C.F.R. § 19.9 (c); Manlicon v. West, 12 Vet. App. 238 (1999).
The issues of increased rating and service connection are remanded
As noted above, an SOC needs to be issued on the issues of entitlement to service connection for right ear hearing loss and increased rating for left ear hearing loss. See 38 C.F.R. § 19.9 (c); Manlicon, supra. 
In regard to the PTSD claim, the record reflects that VA-generated evidence has been added to the claims file since the claim was last adjudicated in a December 2015 statement of the case (SOC). In this regard, numerous VA treatment records, including mental health treatment notes, dated through March 2018 were added to the claims file after the SOC, and a new SSOC was not issued with consideration of the VA treatment records. While 38 U.S.C. § 7105 (e) provides an automatic waiver of initial AOJ review if a Veteran submits evidence to the AOJ or the Board with, or after submission of, a Substantive Appeal, this provision is only applicable to cases where the Substantive Appeal was filed on or after February 2, 2013 (applicable here), and does not apply to VA-generated evidence, such as VA treatment records. 38 U.S.C. § 7105 (e). As there is no indication that the Veteran has specifically waived initial AOJ adjudication of the new VA treatment records, a remand is required for the AOJ to consider this evidence in a SSOC.
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Furnish a SOC as to the issues of entitlement to service connection for right ear hearing loss and increased rating for left ear hearing loss. Only if the Veteran perfects an appeal should these issues be certified to the Board following completion of any necessary development.
2. Readjudicate the increased rating for PTSD claim based on the entirety of the evidence, to include all evidence received since the last AOJ adjudication, to include all current VA treatment records. Additionally, accomplish any development deemed necessary, to include obtaining current VA examinations if indicated. If any benefit sought on appeal is not granted to the Veteran’s satisfaction, the Veteran and his attorney should be furnished an appropriate SSOC and be afforded the requisite opportunity to respond. Thereafter, the case should be returned to the Board for further appellate action.

 
JOHN J. CROWLEY
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	R. Kettler, 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

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