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Entitlement To Service Connection For Sleep Apnea, To Include As Secondary To Ptsd Granted

VA Disability

[no_toc]Citation Nr: 1427733 Decision Date: 06/18/14 Archive Date: 06/26/14 DOCKET NO. 10-06 071 ) DATE On appeal from the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

THE ISSUES

  1. Whether new and material evidence has been received to reopen a claim of service connection for a left ankle disability.
  2. Entitlement to service connection for a left knee disability.
  3. Entitlement to service connection for a right knee disability.
  4. Entitlement to service connection for a lung disability.
  5. Entitlement to service connection for a right shoulder disability.
  6. Entitlement to service connection for a right hip disability.
  7. Entitlement to service connection for sleep apnea, to include as secondary to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  8. Entitlement to a rating in excess of 10 percent prior to February 9, 2012 for degenerative disc disease of the lumbosacral spine with lumbar strain.
  9. Entitlement to a rating in excess of 20 percent since February 9, 2012 for degenerative disc disease of the lumbosacral spine with lumbar strain.
  10. Entitlement to a rating in excess of 10 percent for evulsion fracture of the left hip.
  11. Entitlement to a rating in excess of 10 percent for stress headaches.
  12. Entitlement to a rating in excess of 30 percent for irritable bowel syndrome.
  13. Entitlement to a total disability rating based on individual unemployability due to service-connected disabilities (TDIU).

REPRESENTATION
Appellant represented by: Paul M. Goodson, Attorney WITNESSES AT HEARING ON APPEAL Appellant & SpouseATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD Jarrette A. Marley, Associate Counsel

INTRODUCTION

The Veteran had active service from July 1981 to July 1984 and from July 1985 to May 1993, including service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations.
These matters are before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from an April 2009 rating decision by the Winston-Salem, North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) that, in part, granted an increased 10 percent rating for the Veteran’s service-connected left hip disability, effective December 14, 2007 (date of claim). These matters were previously before the Board in August 2013 when they were remanded to afford the Veteran a hearing.
The Veteran testified before the undersigned Veterans Law Judge in a videoconference hearing in March 2014; a transcript of the hearing is associated with the claims file. At the hearing, the Veteran raised a claim for TDIU, pursuant to Rice v. Shinseki, 22 Vet. App. 447 (2009). Such is not a separate claim, but a part of the claim on appeal.
The issues of service connection for a left ankle disability, a right shoulder disability, a right knee disability, a left knee disability, a lung disability, and a right hip disability, increased ratings for the lumbosacral spine and the left hip, and entitlement to a TDIU rating, are addressed in the REMAND portion of the decision below and are REMANDED to the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ).

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. Sleep apnea had its onset in service.
2. Resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran’s favor, throughout the appeal period, the Veteran’s stress headaches have been manifested by characteristic prostrating attacks occurring at least once a month over several months.
3. Resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran’s favor, throughout the appeal period, the Veteran’s irritable bowel syndrome is manifested by daily abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and impairment of sphincter control; complete loss of sphincter control is not shown at any time during the appeal period.

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