Citation Nr: 1829781	
Decision Date: 08/06/18    Archive Date: 08/17/18

DOCKET NO.  10-03 883	)	DATE
	)
	)

On appeal from the
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Cleveland, Ohio


THE ISSUE

Entitlement to withheld benefits due and payable to the Veteran's estate.


ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD

A. Adamson, Counsel


INTRODUCTION

The Veteran served on active duty from August 1943 to January 1946.  She died in August 2003. 

This matter comes before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal from a June 2008 administrative decision of the Cleveland, Ohio, Regional Office (RO) of the Department of Veteran's Affairs.


FINDING OF FACT

In August 2018, the Board was notified that the appellant died in November 2015.


CONCLUSION OF LAW

Due to the death of the appellant, the Board has no jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of this appeal at this time.  38 U.S.C. § 7104(a) (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.1302 (2017). 


REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDING AND CONCLUSION

Unfortunately, the appellant died during the pendency of the appeal.  As a matter of law, appellants' claims do not survive their deaths.  Zevalkink v. Brown, 102 F.3d 1236, 1243-44 (Fed. Cir. 1996); Smith v. Brown, 10 Vet. App. 330, 333-34 (1997); Landicho v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 42, 47 (1994).  This appeal on the merits has become moot by virtue of the death of the appellant and must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.  See 38 U.S.C. § 7104(a) (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.1302 (2017).

In reaching this determination, the Board intimates no opinion as to the merits of this appeal or to any derivative claim brought by a survivor of the Veteran.  38 C.F.R. § 20.1106 (2017).  

The Board's dismissal of this appeal does not affect the right of an eligible person to file a request to be substituted as the appellant for purposes of processing the claim to completion.  Such request must be filed not later than one year after the date of the appellant's death.  See 38 U.S.C. § 5121A (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(b) (2017).  A person eligible for substitution includes "a living person who would be eligible to receive accrued benefits due to the claimant under section 5121(a) of this title ...."  38 U.S.C. § 5121A (2012); see 38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(a) (2017).  An eligible party seeking substitution in an appeal that has been dismissed by the Board due to the death of the claimant should file a request for substitution with the VA office from which the claim originated (listed on the first page of this decision).  38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(b) (2017). 


ORDER

The appeal as to entitlement to withheld benefits due and payable to the Veteran's estate is dismissed.
		
MICHAEL E. KILCOYNE
	Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals

Department of Veterans Affairs

For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency


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