Sanchez-Navarro v. McDonald, No. 14-7039 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Navarro served in the Army from 1958-1960. He is not a combat veteran, but served near the demilitarized zone after the Korean War. In 2005, Navarro sought service connection for PTSD. He established the condition under 38 C.F.R. 4.125(a). He provided testimony about hearing shots, seeing injured soldiers, and hearing noises while on night guard duty. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied the claim in 2008. While appeal was pending, the VA amended 38 C.F.R. 3.304(f) with respect to evidence required to establish claimed in-service stressors for PTSD claims. The Veterans Court vacated. On remand, the Board found that revised 3.304(f) did not apply because Navarro had been diagnosed by a therapist, not a “VA psychiatrist or psychologist” and that Navarro was not entitled to a VA medical examination because “none of his claimed stressor events have been sufficiently corroborated by credible supporting evidence and his account of having a continuity of PTSD symptomatology since service is not deemed credible.” The Veterans Court affirmed. The Federal Circuit remanded for determination of whether Navarro’s “claimed stressor[s are] consistent with the places, types, and circumstances of the veteran’s service.” If so, he is entitled to examination by a VA psychiatrist or psychologist.