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http://www.va.gov/vetapp16/Files4/1634347.

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Citation Nr: 1634347
Decision Date: 08/31/16
DOCKET NO.
)
)

Archive Date: 09/06/16

10-40 408 ) DATE

On appeal from the


Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida
THE ISSUES
1.

Entitlement to an initial rating in excess of 10 percent for ulcerative

2.

Entitlement to an initial rating in excess of 60 percent for ulcerative

REPRESENTATION
Veteran represented by: Disabled American Veterans
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD
James A. DeFrank, Counsel

INTRODUCTION
The Veteran had active service from March 2005 to September 2008.

This matter comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal f

In April 2015, the Board remanded the issue of entitlement to an initial ra

In an October 2015 rating decision, the RO granted an increased initial rat

The increase from 10 percent to 60 percent for ulcerative colitis did not c

The Veteran submitted a waiver of his right to have the RO review newly sub
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.

For the period from September 9, 2008 to September 26, 2015, the Vetera

2.

For the period since September 26, 2015, the Veteran's ulcerative colit

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1.

The criteria for an initial disability evaluation of 30 percent, but no

2.

For the period since September 26, 2015, the criteria for an initial ev

REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

VA has a duty to notify and assist claimants in substantiating claims for V

The record also reflects that VA has made reasonable efforts to obtain or t

The record also contains the reports of January 2009 and December 2013 VA e

In light of the above, the Board also finds that the RO substantially compl

Also of record and considered in connection with the appeal are the various
Laws and Regulations

Disability evaluations are determined by the application of VA's Schedule f


Generally, the degree of disabilities specified are considered adequate to

The Veteran's entire history is reviewed when making a disability determina

The evaluation of the same disability under various diagnoses, known as pyr

The Board will consider not only the criteria of the currently assigned dia
In this case, the RO granted service connection for ulcerative colitis and
Under Diagnostic Code 7323, a 10 percent disability rating is assigned for

Under 38 C.F.R. 4.114, ratings provided under Diagnostic Code s 7301 thr
Factual Background and Analysis

An October 2006 service treatment record noted that the Veteran had been co

In June 2007 his gastrointestinal symptoms were reevaluated and he underwen

A February 2008 service treatment record noted current symptoms of increasi

A July 2008 colonoscopy noted that the Veteran had a diagnosis of acute col

In January 2009, the Veteran received treatment at the emergency department


VA provided an examination in January 2009.

The Veteran reported that he d

In October 2009, the Veteran again received treatment at the emergency depa
VA next provided an examination in December 2013.

The Veteran continued to

In March 2014 the Veteran presented to the emergency room with complaints o
A June 2014 VA treatment report noted that the Veteran responded well to a

An April 2015 colonoscopy revealed right and left sided ulcerative colitis.

In compliance with the April 2015 Board remand instructions, VA again exami
Period prior to September 26, 2015

The Board finds that for the period from September 9, 2008 to September 26,
As noted above, the Veteran experienced bloody diarrhea 6 to 7 times a day

As a result, when affording the Veteran the benefit of the doubt, the evide

However, for the period from September 9, 2008 to September 26, 2015, the e
Additionally, while a February 2008 service treatment record noted current

Thus, the Board finds that a higher rating of 30 percent, and no higher, is
Period since September 26, 2015

The Board finds that the preponderance of the evidence is against an initia
The Board notes that on September 2015 VA examination, the Veteran

endorse

The preponderance of evidence thus shows that his ulcerative colitis does n
Extraschedular Evaluation
Also considered by the Board is whether referral is warranted for a rating

The criterion for such an award is a finding that the case presents an exce
Extraschedular consideration involves a three step analysis.

Thun v. Peake

If the RO or the Board finds that the schedular evaluation does not contemp
The evidence shows that the Veteran's service-connected ulcerative colitis

(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

criteria, the Board therefore has determined that referral of the case for
ORDER

Entitlement to an initial rating of 30 percent for ulcerative colitis for t

Entitlement to an initial rating in excess of 60 percent for ulcerative col

____________________________________________
JAMES G. REINHART
Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals

Department of Veterans Affairs