B.J. hired Friedman Disability in March of 2016 after the VA denied his claim for a schedular rating of greater than 50% for his service-connected PTSD, and failed to consider him for a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU). B.J. enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1967, and served for two years in Vietnam and elsewhere before being honorably discharged in 1969.
When B.J. came to Friedman Disability, our firm first obtained his complete VA and private medical records in addition to his VA disability claims file, in order to assess the favorable evidence of record either overlooked or improperly dismissed without explanation by the VA.
The records indicated that the VA knew or should have known that B.J. had been unable to work since 2004 when his last job ended, and that his treating VA psychiatrist had expressly found that B.J. was “permanently and totally disabled as well as unemployable” due to his PTSD symptoms, which included poor impulse control with unprovoked irritability and anger, continuous depression and anxiety/panic, difficulty in adapting to stressful circumstances, and an inability to establish and maintain effective relationships.
By denying B.J. a higher schedular rating for his PTSD and a TDIU rating, the VA asserted that he was still able to follow a substantially gainful occupation (SGO), but failed to provide an example of a job someone with B.J.’s symptoms could perform.
Having identified the VA’s clear and documented legal error, Friedman Disability filed a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) on the B.J.’s behalf showing why B.J. was entitled to a TDIU rating. In October of 2018, the VA issued a new rating decision granting B.J. a TDIU rating with a 2012 effective date. This resulted in the payment of six years of past-due benefits worth more than $139,000, in addition to continuing current disability paid at the 100 percent rate.