Persuasively Using PEB-directed Rating Returns in Navy and Air Force Cases
Lately, the VA Rating Activity staff in Providence, Rhode Island, have been combining potentially unfitting conditions rated by analogy with referred conditions found in the VASRD. This approach is typically not to the benefit of Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force members. For example, VA Rating Activity personnel have recently combined ratings for little-known autoimmune disorders that may include respiratory symptoms in their presentation with respiratory conditions for which service connection has already been established- such as asthma or sinusitis. However, this approach ignores the fact that the infusions required for many of these autoimmune disorders would result in a much higher rating for a service member than they would receive if the conditions were consolidated into asthma or sinusitis ratings. In such cases, you can and should work with your counsel to request a PEB-directed Rating Return as authorized by the VA Adjudication Manual, M21-1 Part X.i.6.H.4.e. Not to worry, if the rating assigned by the VA for such conditions is too low, you can always file a VA One-time Reconsideration Request.