Citation Nr: 18123961
Decision Date: 08/07/18	Archive Date: 08/03/18

DOCKET NO. 15-00 919
DATE:	August 7, 2018
ORDER
The claim of entitlement to service connection for Cesarian section scar is dismissed.
The claim of entitlement to a compensable evaluation for sinusitis is dismissed.
The claim of entitlement to service connection for a foot injury is dismissed.
REMANDED
Entitlement to a higher evaluation than 10 percent for degenerative disc and joint disease of the lumbar spine is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for mitral valve prolapse is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for urinary tract infections (UTIs) is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for an acquired psychiatric disorder, to include posttraumatic stress disorder, (PTSD) is remanded.
Entitlement to a higher evaluation for dermatitis, currently assigned a 10 percent evaluation, is remanded.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. The Veteran served on active duty from October 1980 to August 1990.  
2. On December 9, 2013, prior to the promulgation of a decision in the appeal, the Board received notification from the appellant that a withdrawal of the appeal of entitlement to a compensable evaluation for sinusitis, entitlement to a service connection for foot injury and entitlement to service connection for Cesarian section scar is requested.
CONCLUSION OF LAW
The criteria for withdrawal of an appeal by the Veteran as to the issues entitlement to a compensable evaluation for sinusitis, entitlement to a service connection for foot injury and entitlement to service connection for Cesarian section scar have been met.  38 U.S.C. § 7105(b)(2), (d)(5) (2012); 38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).
REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDINGS AND CONCLUSION
The Veteran served on active duty from October 1980 to August 1990.  She also served in the Naval Reserves.
This matter came before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) from an October 2010 rating decisions of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
The issue of entitlement to service connection for scoliosis was raised by the record during the December 2017 Board hearing, but have not been adjudicated by the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ).  The Veteran claims that her scoliosis was aggravated during service.  The Board does not have jurisdiction over this issue, and it is referred to the AOJ for appropriate action.  
The Board may dismiss any appeal which fails to allege specific error of fact or law in the determination being appealed.  38 U.S.C. § 7105 (2012).  An appeal may be withdrawn as to any or all issues involved in the appeal at any time before the Board promulgates a decision.  38 C.F.R. § 20.204 (2017).  Withdrawal may be made by the appellant or by his or her authorized representative.  38 C.F.R. § 20.204.  In the present case, the Veteran has withdrawn the appeal as to issues of entitlement to a compensable evaluation for sinusitis, entitlement to a service connection for foot injury and entitlement to service connection for Cesarian section scar and, hence, there remain no allegations of errors of fact or law for appellate consideration as to these issues.  Accordingly, the Board does not have jurisdiction to review the appeal of these issues, and they are dismissed.
REASONS FOR REMAND
If there are any other issues that the Veteran would like to withdraw, she must do so in writing and submit this request to the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ).
Although the Veteran filed timely notice of disagreements for the issues of entitlement to a higher evaluation for dermatitis, entitlement to service connection for mitral valve prolapse or entitlement to a higher evaluation than 10 percent for degenerative disc and joint disease of the lumbar spine, no statement of the case has been issued for these issues.  These issues must be remanded for the issuance of such a statement of the case.  38 C.F.R. § 19.9(c) (2017), codifying Manlincon v. West, 12 Vet. App. 238 (1999).
Most recently, the Veteran provided medical records pertaining to her urinary tract infections (UTIs).  A new VA examination is needed so that the Veteran can provide updated statements to the examiner about her current UTIs and to allow the examiner the opportunity to review these newly obtained records before providing an opinion as to the relationship between the current UTIs and the UTIs diagnosed in service.
The Veteran received a Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) examination in September 2014 for PTSD.  The examiner concluded that the Veteran had a diagnosis of a stressor related disorder.  The examiner noted that the diagnosis began during childhood.  The examiner further found that there was no objective evidence of military stressor of harassment and that there was no objective evidence of aggravation caused by or related to her military stressor.  The Veteran is competent to report the symptoms she experienced during service.  The claims file also includes a statement from her brother and a co-worker about the harassment she experienced during service.  A new examination is needed that considers the Veteran’s statements regarding her harassment during service as well as the other lay statements of record.  An opinion is needed as to whether the Veteran’s psychiatric disability that began prior to service was aggravated, worsened beyond normal progression during service.  
During the December 2017 Board hearing, the Veteran reported that anxiety she experienced during service due to harassment caused her to develop IBS.  The Board acknowledges that an examination was conducted for IBS in October 2010.  The examiner opined that her current IBS was not related to service because a diagnosis of IBS was not diagnosed until recently.  A new opinion is needed that considers the Veteran’s reports of having IBS symptoms during service.  An opinion is also needed as to whether her IBS is secondary to her psychiatric disability.   
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any chronic UTI disability that includes kidney scar.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including UTIs diagnosed during service.  All newly received medical records should be reviewed.
2. Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any current psychiatric disability.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including harassment by her superior.
If the examiner finds that the psychiatric disability did clearly and unmistakably preexist service (the September 2014 examiner opined onset to be childhood), the examiner must opine whether it was clearly and unmistakably NOT aggravated by service.  If the examiner finds that it either did not clearly and unmistakably preexist service, or was not clearly and unmistakably aggravated by service, the examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including harassment by a superior.
3. Schedule the Veteran for an examination by an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any IBS.  The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not related to an in-service injury, event, or disease, including harassment from a superior which caused anxiety.  
The examiner must opine whether it is at least as likely as not (1) proximately due to service-connected disability, or (2) aggravated beyond its natural progression by service-connected disability.
Please provide an opinion as to whether the Veteran’s IBS is due to a psychiatric disability.
4.   The AOJ must issue a statement of the case as to the claims for entitlement to a higher evaluation for dermatitis, entitlement to service connection for mitral valve prolapse or entitlement to a higher evaluation than 10 percent for degenerative disc and joint disease of the lumbar spine.  These issues should be certified to the Board only if the Veteran submits a timely and sufficient substantive appeal, and the Veteran should be informed of this fact.
5. Readjudicate the Veteran’s claims, with application of all appropriate laws, regulations, and case law, and consideration of any additional information obtained as a result of this remand.  If the decision remains adverse to the Veteran, she should be furnished a supplemental statement of the case and afforded an appropriate period of time within which to respond thereto.

 
KRISTI L. GUNN
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	Tahirih S. Samadani, Counsel 

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