Monday, July 29, 2013

Massie v. Shinseki

Massie v. Shinseki, docket no. 2012-7087 (Fed. Cir. July 29, 2013)
In order for medical evidence to constitute a “report of examination” under 38 C.F.R. § 3.157(b)(1), and thus qualify as an informal claim for an increased rating, the medical evidence must (1) refer to at least one specific medical examination and (2) assert that the veteran’s service-connected condition has worsened. In this case, the veteran attempted to assert that a letter from his VA doctor raised an informal claim for an increased rating – even though the letter did not mention an examination or state that the veteran’s condition had worsened. The CAVC interpreted 38 C.F.R. § 3.157(b)(1) to require these two elements – and the Federal Circuit agreed.

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