Citation Nr: 18132303
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 16-03 674
DATE:	September 6, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for a psychiatric disorder, to include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from August 1968 to June 1972.
1. Entitlement to service connection for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is remanded.
The Veteran contends that service connection is warranted for PTSD due to his war experiences in Vietnam, but an April 2013 VA examiner concluded that the Veteran did not have a diagnosed mental disorder. However, since that examination, the Veteran has been diagnosed with PTSD. See e.g. June 2014 Mental Health Outpatient Assessment Note; June 2014 Mental Health Diagnostic Study Note (PTSD diagnosis is suggested); July 2014 Mental Health Individual Therapy Note (diagnoses treatment during this visit: PTSD). Therefore, the Board finds that a remand is necessary to determine the nature and etiology of the Veteran’s PTSD.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. Contact the Veteran and request authorization to obtain any outstanding records pertinent to his claim, including any private treatment records following proper VA procedures (38 C.F.R. § 3.159(c)).
2. After completing the requested development, afford the Veteran a VA mental health examination, conducted by a psychiatrist or psychologist, to determine the precise nature of his PTSD and any other diagnosed psychiatric disorders. The Veteran’s claims file must be made available to the examiner in conjunction with the examination. All tests deemed necessary should be performed, and all findings should be reported in detail. If possible, the appropriate Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) should be used. 
The examiner should confirm whether the Veteran currently has PTSD.
The examiner should then provide an opinion as to the following:
If PTSD is diagnosed, then is it at least as likely as not (a 50 percent or greater probability) that any of the claimed stressors caused the Veteran’s PTSD, or that any other diagnosed psychiatric disorder is etiologically related to service?
A complete rationale for any opinion provided is requested. The examiner is advised that the Veteran is competent to report his symptoms and history, and such reports must be specifically acknowledged and considered in formulating any opinions. If the examiner rejects the Veteran’s reports of symptomatology, a reason for doing so must be provided.
 
A. C. MACKENZIE
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	C. Mukherjee, Associate Counsel

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