QR is pleased to announce that our appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeals for an Army veteran with service in Vietnam resulted in a reversal of the initial Ratings Determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs (Pittsburgh Regional Office) and a full grant of service connection for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The Veteran applied on his own and was originally denied by the Pittsburgh Regional Office. Attorney Michael Quatrini appealed the unfavorable decision and worked with the Veteran’s private psychiatrist to challenge the opinion of the VA examiner, who opined that the Veteran did not suffer from PTSD.
Attorney Quatrini attended a video teleconference with the Veteran in Pittsburgh, PA and was able to convince the Veterans Law Judge to accept the following facts:
- the Veteran engaged in combat during his service;
- the Veteran had a qualifying DSM-IV diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his private psychiatrist;
- the Veteran’s claimed stressors were more likely than not related to his combat service.
Further, the Veterans Law Judge also accepted our argument that a grant of service connection was proper for two reasons: First, the opinion of the private psychiatrist was simply more credible, and (2) the two medical opinions – one from the VA and one from the private psychiatrist – were in “relative equipoise”, meaning that the two opinions essentially tied, and compelled a victory for the Veteran.
The BVA decision will now head back to the Pittsburgh Regional Office for further adjudication, including an updated evaluation and rating for the Veteran’s PTSD.