Citation Nr: 18154120
Decision Date: 11/29/18	Archive Date: 11/29/18

DOCKET NO. 13-25 376
DATE:	November 29, 2018
Entitlement to service connection for a low back disability is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for a chronic disability manifested by nerve pain in both legs, to include as secondary to a low back disability, is remanded.
The Veteran had active duty service from June 1976 to May 1979.
These matters come before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal of a February 2011 rating decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Atlanta, Georgia.  
In July 2017, the Board denied the Veteran’s claims for entitlement to service connection for a low back disability, and for a chronic disability manifested by nerve pain in both legs.  The Veteran appealed the Board’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Court), and the Court granted a May 2018 Joint Motion for Remand (JMR), and remanded the issue to the Board for re-adjudication. 
In the May 2018 JMR, the parties agreed that the Board erred by failing to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases for its determination that medical records submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) are not relevant to the Veteran’s claim for VA benefits.  
The Board notes that a treating relationship inquiry sent by SSA to the Veteran’s private physician relates to a low back disability.  This suggests that SSA records are relevant to the issues on appeal.  Accordingly, remand is necessary to procure the Veteran’s medical records from SSA.  38 U.S.C. § 5013A; Golz v. Shinseki, 590 F.3d 1317, 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2010) (VA is required to obtain records from SSA if they “relate to the injury for which the claimant is seeking benefits and have a reasonable possibility of helping to substantiate the Veteran’s claim”). 
The Veteran’s claim for service connection for a chronic disability manifested by nerve pain in both legs is inextricably intertwined with the claim for entitlement to service connection for a low back disability.  Harris v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App. 180, 183 (1991) (claims are “inextricably intertwined” when a decision on one claim would have a “significant impact” on the other).  Accordingly, such claim must likewise be remanded for further development and re-adjudication. 
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1.  Obtain all records pertaining to the Veteran’s claim(s) for Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits.  All development with respect to this directive must be documented in the claims file.
 Thereafter, readjudicate the issues on appeal.  If any benefit sought remains denied, furnish the Veteran and his representative with a supplemental statement of the case.  After affording an appropriate period for response, return the appeal to the Board for review.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	D. Reed, Associate Counsel

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