Citation Nr: 18160489
Decision Date: 12/26/18	Archive Date: 12/26/18

DOCKET NO. 15-20 987
DATE:	December 26, 2018
Entitlement to service connection for an acquired psychiatric condition, to include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is remanded.
The Veteran had active service from August 1968 to February 1970.  His period of service included service in the Republic of Vietnam and the receipt of awards including the Combat Action Ribbon and the Purple Heart.  This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from a January 2014 rating  decision.
1. Entitlement to service connection for an acquired psychiatric condition, to include PTSD, is remanded.
The Veteran argues that a new VA examination is necessary to adequately adjudicate his claim because the previous examinations conducted are no longer reflective of the current severity of his mental health symptoms.  In this context, the Veteran’s arguments regarding the increasing severity of his symptoms can be understood to be a report that he believes he is experiencing symptoms not present or detected during his previous examination relevant to PTSD Criterion D (negative alterations in cognition and mood associated with his traumatic experience), PTSD Criterion E (marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with his traumatic experience), and PTSD Criterion G (clinically significant distress or impairment of social, occupational, or other functioning).  Consequently, this matter should be remanded for an appropriate VA examination.
The matter is REMANDED for the following action:
Schedule the Veteran for a psychiatric examination to determine the nature and etiology of any posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  If the Veteran is diagnosed with PTSD, the examiner must explain how the diagnostic criteria are met and opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to a verified in-service stressor.  
If any other acquired psychiatric disorders are diagnosed, the examiner must opine whether each diagnosed disorder is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease.
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	Steven H. Johnston, Associate Counsel

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