Citation Nr: 18132259
Decision Date: 09/06/18	Archive Date: 09/06/18

DOCKET NO. 14-15 491
DATE:	September 6, 2018
ORDER
Entitlement to service connection for bilateral hearing loss is withdrawn.
Entitlement to service connection for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is withdrawn.
Entitlement to service connection for gum disease is withdrawn.
Entitlement to service connection for left shoulder bursitis is withdrawn.
Entitlement to an increased rating for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain is withdrawn.
Entitlement to separate compensable ratings for neurological impairment of the lower extremities, claimed as associated with lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain, is denied.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The Veteran withdrew the claim for service connection for left shoulder bursitis in a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim.
2. The Veteran withdrew the claim for service connection for bilateral hearing loss in a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim.
3. The Veteran withdrew the claim for service connection for GERD in a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim.
4. The Veteran withdrew the claim for service connection for gum disease in a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim.
5. The Veteran withdrew the claim for an increased rating for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain in a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim.
6. The Veteran does not have a objective neurological abnormalities of the lower extremities associated with lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The criteria for withdrawal of the claim for service connection for left shoulder bursitis have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
2. The criteria for withdrawal of the claim for service connection for bilateral hearing loss have been met. 38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
3. The criteria for withdrawal of the claim for service connection for GERD have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
4. The criteria for withdrawal of the claim for service connection for gum disease have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
5.  The criteria for withdrawal of the claim for an increased rating for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
6. The criteria for separate compensable ratings for neurological impairment of the lower extremities associated with lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain have not been met. 38 U.S.C. §§ 1101, 1110, 5107 (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.303, 3.310 (2017).
REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
The Veteran served on active duty from January 2002 to March 2005, and from September 2007 to July 2009.  
This appeal comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) from several rating decisions issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO).
In January 2017, the Veteran was afforded a Board video conference hearing.  The Veteran did not attend the scheduled hearing.  The Board rescheduled the hearing to May 2017.  The Veteran did not attend the hearing.  In September 2017, the Veteran again did not attend a rescheduled hearing.  As the Veteran was properly notified of the time, date and location of the scheduled Board hearings and did not appear, the hearing request is deemed withdrawn.
Withdrawal of Claims
The Board may dismiss any appeal that fails to allege specific error of fact or law in the determination being appealed.  38 U.S.C. § 7105. An appeal may be withdrawn as to any or all issues involved in the appeal at any time before the Board promulgates a decision. Withdrawal may be made by the Veteran or by his or her authorized representative.  38 C.F.R. § 20.204.
In a May 2014 Statement in Support of Claim the Veteran notified the Board that he wished to withdraw five claims, those for: (1) service connection for left shoulder bursitis, (2) service connection for bilateral hearing loss, (3) service connection for GERD, (4) service connection for gum disease, and (5) an increased rating for lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain. 
These withdrawals are in writing and have been associated with the claims file. There remain no allegations of errors of fact or law for appellate consideration. The Board does not have jurisdiction to review these claims, so they will be dismissed.  38 U.S.C. § 7104 (providing that the Board only decides actual questions of fact and law in a case).
Service Connection Legal Authority
Service connection may be granted for a disability resulting from disease or injury incurred in or aggravated by service.  38 U.S.C. § 1110; 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(a).  Service connection may also be granted for any disease diagnosed after discharge, when all of the evidence, including that pertinent to service, establishes that the disease was incurred in service.  38 C.F.R. § 3.303(d).  Direct service connection may not be granted without evidence of a current disability; in-service incurrence or aggravation of a disease or injury; and a nexus between the claimed in-service disease or injury and the present disease or injury.  
Service connection may be established on a secondary basis for a disability which is proximately due to or the result of service-connected disease or injury.  38 C.F.R. § 3.310(a).  Establishing service connection on a secondary basis requires evidence sufficient to show (1) that a current disability exists and (2) that the current disability was either (a) proximately caused by or (b) proximately aggravated by a service-connected disability.  Allen v. Brown, 7 Vet. App. 439, 448 (1995) (en banc).  Further, service connection may not be awarded on the basis of aggravation without establishing a pre-aggravation baseline level of disability and comparing it to the current level of disability.  38 C.F.R. § 3.310(b).  
Entitlement to separate compensable ratings for neurological impairment of the lower extremities associated with lumbar spine degenerative disc disease and strain.
The Veteran asserts that he has neurological impairment of the lower extremities.  A January 2013 treatment note reflects that the Veteran complained of pain in the lumbar spine radiating to the posterior legs with intermittent numbness and tingling in the legs and feet; however, upon examination, the Veteran denied any neurological symptoms.  Additionally, the treating physician did not note any neurological deficits.
The Board finds that, while the Veteran has sought treatment for cervical and lumbar conditions, there is no evidence of treatment or diagnoses of sciatic or other nerve conditions of the lower extremities.  In a January 2013 treatment note, the Veteran complained of chronic back pain which would travel to his posterior legs, but denied any radiculopathy symptoms.  Another January 2013 treatment note reflects no neurological deficits upon physical examination.  A January 2014 treatment note shows normal neurological responses for the upper and lower extremities.
A May 2014 VA examination reflects that an in-person examination and conducted neurological testing on the Veteran found normal strength and sensory results in the lower extremities, and straight leg raising testing was normal.  The examiner concluded that the Veteran did not have radiculopathy or the lower extremities.
Based on the foregoing, the Board finds that the weight of the evidence of record demonstrates no objective neurological abnormalities of the lower extremities.  As there is no current objective neurologic abnormality of either lower extremity, service connection on a secondary basis, as a manifestation of the service-connected back disability, cannot be established.  For these reasons, the Board finds that the preponderance of the evidence is against the Veteran’s claim for service connection, and the claim must be denied.

 
J. PARKER 
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	Michael J. O'Connor 

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