Tag: statutory

Single Judge Application; reason and bases; Dela Cruz v. Principi, 15 Vet.App. 143, 149 (2001); failure discuss all the evidence favorable to a claimant; Gabrielson v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 36, 40 (1994); the Board cannot “evade [its] statutory responsibility [to state the reasons or bases for its conclusions] merely by adopting [a medical opinion] as its own” where the medical opinion “fails to discuss all the evidence which appears to support [the] appellant’s position.” Gabrielson v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 36, 40 (1994). Gabrielson does not require that a medical opinion discuss all the evidence favorable to a claimant, only that the Board, in relying on an opinion that does not do so, discuss any additional favorable evidence to comply with its duty to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases for its decision. See id.; 38 U.S.C. § 7104(d)(1); see also Dela Cruz v. Principi, 15 Vet.App. 143, 149 (2001) (holding that, although the Board must consider all of the evidence of record, “a discussion of all evidence is not required when . . . the Board has supported its decision with thorough reasons or bases regarding the relevant evidence”);
Single Judge Application; The Board cannot avoid adjudicating an issue before it, here the proper rating, simply because it may also arise in a different claim. See Rice, 22 Vet.App. at 450-54 (clarifying that TDIU is not a “claim” but an entitlement to a total disability rating when certain qualifications are met); As appellant notes, the Board’s failure to address entitlement to TDIU based solely on the veteran’s migraine headaches was prejudicial because that entitlement may lead to eligibility for SMC under 38 U.S.C. § 1114(s). See Bradley v. Peake, 22 Vet.App. 280, 293 (2008) (“[S]ection 1114(s) does not limit ‘a service-connected disability rated as total’ to only a schedular rating of 100%, and the Secretary’s current regulation permits a [total disability rating based on individual unemployability] based on a single disability to satisfy the statutory requirement of a total rating.” (quoting 38 U.S.C. § 1114(s))); And VA has had a long-standing policy of considering SMC where it may apply, even if not explicitly raised. See Akles v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 118, 121 (1991);