Citation Nr: 18123934
Decision Date: 08/07/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 15-27 038
DATE:	August 7, 2018
Entitlement to service connection for urticaria is remanded.
The Veteran served on active duty in the United States Army from September 1987 to December 1987 and the United States Coast Guard from July 1991 to January 1997, January 2003 to January 1997, November 2004 to September 2005, October 2009 to September 2005, and October 2010 to September 2011.  This matter comes before the Board from an May 2013 rating decision.  
1. Entitlement to service connection for urticaria is remanded.
The Veteran contends his urticaria was caused by a nasal flu vaccination administered at a US Coast Guard facility during of active duty in September 2009. A record of the Veteran receiving that vaccination in September 2009 is in the file.  August 2009 travel orders indicate the Veteran was on Active Duty for Operational Support of an Active Component (ADOS-AC) from August 2009 to September 2009; however, the personnel records, including a DD-214 for this period, are missing.  An April 2013 email indicates records from the Veteran’s Reserve Unit cannot be located and are unavailable.  For this reason, and because VA has a heightened duty to assist him in developing his claim, the Board will accept his report that urticaria symptoms developed after the nasal flu vaccination in September 2009.  O’Hare v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 365 (1991). 
The Veteran has not received a VA examination to determine the etiology of his urticaria.  There is an indication that the current diagnosed urticaria may be related to service, but there is insufficient competent evidence in the file to decide the claim.  A VA examination is warranted to determine the etiology of the Veteran’s urticaria.  McLendon v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 79, 81 (2006).
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any allergy condition, including urticaria. The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including a nasal spray flu vaccination.  
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	E. Rekowski, Associate Counsel

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