Tag: requires

Single Judge Application; This Court has held that “[l]ay testimony is competent . . . to establish the presence of observable symptomatology and ‘may provide sufficient support for a claim of service connection.’” Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet.App. 303, 307 (2007) (quoting Layno v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 465, 469 (1994)). As this Court has often noted, “symptoms, not treatment, are the essence of any evidence of continuity of symptomatology.” Savage v. Gober, 10 Vet.App. 488, 496 (1997); see also Wilson v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 15, 19 (1991) (noting that the “regulation requires continuity of symptomatology, not continuity of treatment”);
Single Judge Application; obesity; Walsh v. Wilkie; Gen. Coun. Prec. 1-2017 (Jan. 6, 2017); A 2017 VA General Counsel (VAGC) precedent opinion determined that “[o]besity may be an ‘intermediate step’ between a service-connected disability and a current disability that may be service connected on a secondary basis under 38 C.F.R. § 3.310(a),” VA Gen. Coun. Prec. 1-2017 (Jan. 6, 2017), at 2, ¶ 5. The VAGC explained that, in these cases, the Board would be required to resolve (1) whether the service-connected disability caused the veteran to become obese; (2) if so, whether obesity as a result of the service-connected disability was a substantial factor in causing the claimed secondary disability; and (3) whether the claimed secondary disability would not have occurred but for obesity caused by the service-connected disability. Id. at 9-10, ¶ 15. See also Walsh v. Wilkie, Vet.App., 2020 WL 878798 (Feb. 24, 2020) at *5 (holding that G.C. Prec. 1-2017 requires the Board to consider aggravation in the context of these claims when the theory is explicitly raised by the veteran or reasonably raised by the record).;

Single Judge Application; In Rizzo v. Shinseki, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit previously held that VA need not affirmatively establish an examiner’s competency. 580 F.3d 1288, 1291 (Fed. Cir. 2009), overruled by Francway v. Wilkie, 940 F.3d 1304, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (finding that the presumption of competency requires nothing more than is required for veterans in other contexts—i.e., simply that the veteran raise the issue—and that, once the veteran raises such a challenge, the presumption has no further effect and VA must satisfy its burden of persuasion as to the examiner’s qualifications). But, to the extent that Francway did not overrule the holding in Rizzo, the issue here is not the examiner’s competency; In addition, in Sickels v. Shinseki, the Federal Circuit found unpersuasive the veteran’s argument—that he should not be required to assert that the examiner was insufficiently informed—because, like in Rizzo, he had not raised that concern before the Board. 643 F.3d 1362, 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (finding that an examiner’s competency and whether the examiner was sufficiently informed were similar in that a veteran must challenge both and, because Mr. Sickels had not done so, the Board was not required to address the issue of whether the examiner understood the adjudicator’s instructions);

Single Judge Application; In Rizzo v. Shinseki, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit previously held that VA need not affirmatively establish an examiner’s competency. 580 F.3d ...