Citation Nr: 18154191
Decision Date: 11/29/18	Archive Date: 11/29/18

DOCKET NO. 16-53 479
DATE:	November 29, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to a disability rating in excess of 50 percent for migraine headaches, to include on an extraschedular basis pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)(1), is remanded.
Entitlement to a disability rating in excess of 30 percent for left foot tarsal tunnel syndrome and pes planus, to include on an extraschedular basis pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 3.321(b)(1), is remanded.
Entitlement to a total disability evaluation based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran served on active duty from July 1987 to July 1991.
A review of the record discloses further development is needed with respect to the Veteran’s claims. In a VA 21-0788, Information Regarding Apportionment of Beneficiary’s Award, dated October 20, 2016, the Veteran indicated that he was in receipt of Social Security Income. In an earlier May 2015 VA 21-0788, the Veteran left “Social Security” blank. In an October 2016 substantive appeal (VA Form 9), the Veteran stated that in January 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) approved him for disability benefits due to his service-connected disabilities. Thus, there is clear indication that the Veteran is in receipt of Social Security Disability. After a review of the claims file, there is no indication that VA attempted to obtain Social Security Administration (SSA) records and such records have not been associated with the claims file. The omission of potentially relevant records, particularly those in the possession of another Federal government agency, necessitates that the claim must be returned for additional development. See Golz v. Shinseki, 590 F.3d 1317, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2010) Thus, an effort must be made to locate and associated any relevant SSA records with the Veteran’s claims file.
The Veteran was last afforded VA examinations in October 2013 and November 2013 in order to establish the severity of the service-connected migraine headaches and left foot tarsal tunnel syndrome and pes planus disabilities. In a November 2018 Informal Hearing Presentation, the Veteran, through his representative, stated that his migraine headaches have continuously worsened since his last VA examination in 2013. The Veteran also stated in an October 2016 substantive appeal that his service-connected disabilities have worsened. Therefore, the Board must remand this matter to afford the Veteran an opportunity to undergo VA examinations to assess the current nature, extent and severity of the disabilities on appeal. See Snuffer v. Gober, 10 Vet. App. 400, 403 (1997).
Furthermore, a determination with respect to the increased rating claims for migraine headaches and left foot tarsal tunnel syndrome and pes planus, may have an impact upon consideration of the issue of entitlement to a TDIU rating on appeal; the Board finds that these issues are inextricably intertwined. As such, Board consideration of the merits of the Veteran’s TDIU claim is deferred pending adjudication of the Veteran’s increased rating claims.
The matters are REMANDED for the following actions:
1. Obtain the Veteran’s SSA records, to include the most recent disability determination for SSI benefits and the records upon which the determination was based. All SSA records should be associated with the record.
2. Obtain any outstanding VA treatment records and associate them with the claims file.
3. Schedule the Veteran for a VA examination to evaluate the current severity of his service-connected migraine headaches.
4. Schedule the Veteran for a VA examination to evaluate the current severity of his service-connected left foot tarsal tunnel syndrome and pes planus.
5. Thereafter, based on the entirety of the evidence, readjudicate the claims on appeal, to include entitlement to a TDIU.
 
ROMINA CASADEI
Acting Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	D. Cheng, 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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