Citation Nr: 18160700
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/27/18

DOCKET NO. 17-09 644
DATE:	December 27, 2018
Entitlement to a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU) is remanded.
The Veteran served on active duty from August 1965 to August 1968.
Entitlement to a TDIU is remanded.
The Board finds that additional development is needed prior to final adjudication of the issue on appeal.  First, the Board finds that further clarification is needed regarding the impact of the Veteran’s service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has on his employability.  The Veteran was afforded a VA examination in June 2016.  The examiner stated that even with direct solicitation, the Veteran did not reference any specific stressor or symptoms, which would reasonably account for some of the problems he found most offending at his previous employment.  Rather, the Veteran’s description of his workplace behaviors, interactions, and final decisions for retirement suggested evidence of certain longstanding internal belief systems and characterological features, which appear to have significantly detracted from the Veteran’s use of effective coping and problem-solving behaviors, and would be considered to do so with or without the presence of the PTSD diagnosis.  However, in rendering a final opinion regarding the Veteran’s employability, the examiner lumped together the discussed intrinsic/characterological features, PTSD, and a more recently developed Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood, for which the Veteran is not service-connected.  An earlier October 2015 VA examination, does not address the impact of the Veteran’s service-connected PTSD on his employability.  Accordingly, the Board cannot determine to what degree the Veteran’s service-connected PTSD disability impacts his employability, and will remand for clarification.
In addition, in his May 2016 application for a TDIU, the Veteran states that he has sought temporary employment.  The Board finds that additional information is needed regarding this employment.  The June 2016 VA examination regarding the Veteran’s ischemic heart disease suggests that he is capable of sedentary employment, and this is supported by the Veteran’s descriptions of his hobby of researching genealogy.  The Board finds further clarification of the Veteran’s employability is needed, as well as any income information that the Veteran has received since his retirement.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
1. After securing any necessary consent forms from the Veteran, obtain any outstanding records pertaining to the issue on appeal.  The Veteran should be provided an opportunity to clarify any additional employment he has obtained since his retirement in 2012, and an opportunity to provide any supporting documentation, including records from the Social Security Administration. 
All efforts to obtain these records should be documented in the claim file.  If any records could not be obtained, this should be noted in the claim file.
2. Upon completion of the above, the Board asks that an opinion be obtained addressing the Veteran’s employability in light of his service-connected disabilities only.
For all opinions, all necessary development should be taken.  The VA examiner should be given access to the claim file.  The examiner should state that a review of the claim file was completed.
The examiner must provide a comprehensive report including complete rationales for all opinions and conclusions reached, citing the objective medical findings leading to the conclusions.
A detailed rationale is requested for all opinions provided.
3. If upon completion of the above action the issue is denied, the case should be returned to the Board after compliance with appellate procedures.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	K. F., Associate Counsel

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