Citation Nr: 18160526
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/26/18

DOCKET NO. 10-17 074
DATE:	December 27, 2018
The appeal of the issues of entitlement to an evaluation in excess of 50 percent for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prior to December 8, 2017, and entitlement to a total rating based on individual unemployability due to service-connected disabilities (TDIU) prior to December 8, 2017, is dismissed.
On December 4, 2018 the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) was notified that the Veteran died in November 2018. On December 13, 2018, the Board received the Veteran’s death certificate.
Due to the death of the Veteran, the Board has no jurisdiction to adjudicate the merits of this appeal at this time.  38 U.S.C. § 7104(a); 38 C.F.R. § 20.1302.
Unfortunately, the Veteran 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 Veteran and must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 38 U.S.C. § 7104(a); 38 C.F.R. § 20.1302.
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.
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. 38 U.S.C. § 5121A; 38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(b). 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; 38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(a). 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 Department of Veterans Affairs office from which the claim originated (listed on the first page of this decision). 38 C.F.R. § 3.1010(b).
S. L. Kennedy
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	M. Smith, Associate Counsel 

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