Citation Nr: 18160407
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/26/18

DOCKET NO. 16-50 481
DATE:	December 27, 2018
ORDER
A clothing allowance for the year 2015 is granted.
FINDING OF FACT
The evidence is in relative equipoise as to whether the Veteran consistently uses his VA-issued Hydrophilic cream, Ketoconazole cream, and Triamcinolone cream, for his service-connected eczema, that collectively tend to cause irreparable damage to outer garments.
CONCLUSION OF LAW
Resolving all reasonable doubts in the Veteran’s favor, the criteria for entitlement to a clothing allowance for 2015 are met.  38 U.S.C. §§ 1162, 5107 (2012); 38 C.F.R. §§ 3.102, 3.810(a) (2017). 


REASONS AND BASES FOR FINDING AND CONCLUSION
The Veteran served on active duty from August 1978 to September 1981. 
This matter comes before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) on appeal from an April 2015 decision issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in North Little Rock, Arkansas. 
Entitlement to a clothing allowance for the year 2015 
A veteran who has a service-connected disability is entitled to an annual clothing allowance upon meeting certain eligibility requirements.  One way is if the veteran, because of a service-connected disability or disabilities, uses skin medication that causes irreparable damage to the Veteran’s outer garments.  38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(1) (2017).  
A veteran is entitled to more than one clothing allowance when multiple types of garments are affected, such that an annual clothing allowance for each prosthetic or orthopedic appliance or medication used is warranted when each use satisfies the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(1) outlined above; and such use affects a distinct type of article of clothing or outer garment.  38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(2) (2017).
Further, a veteran is entitled to two annual clothing allowances if he or she uses more than one prosthetic or orthopedic appliance where each use satisfies the requirements of 38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(1) outlined above; and together tends to wear or tear a single type of article of clothing at an increased rate of damage to the clothing due to the second appliance.  38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(3) (2017).   
The Veteran generally contends that a clothing allowance for the year 2015 is warranted for his use of VA-issued skin medications, namely Hydrophilic cream, Ketoconazole cream, and Triamcinolone cream, for his service-connected eczema.  See October 2016 Substantive Appeal (via VA Form 9).  He reports that his skin medications collectively “cause permanent damage to clothing” given that “[his] clothing became soiled and the soilness le[d] to damage[d] clothing.”  See October 2016 Substantive Appeal.  
The Board has carefully reviewed the evidence of record and finds that the evidence supports the award of a clothing allowance for the year 2015 for the Veteran’s collective use of his skin medications, namely Hydrophilic cream, Ketoconazole cream, and Triamcinolone cream, for his service-connected eczema.  In this regard, the Veteran is competent to describe whether his skin medications cause irreparable damage to his outer garments, inasmuch as such effect is readily observable by a lay person.  See Buchanan v. Nicholson, 451 F.3d 1331, 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2006).  
Of note, given that the evidence does not indicate that the Veteran’s VA-issued skin medications affect multiple, distinct types of article of clothing, or that they together wear or tear a single type of article of clothing at an increased rate of damage to the clothing, see 38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(2)(3), additional clothing allowances are not warranted.  
When, after careful consideration of all procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will be resolved in favor of the claimant.  38 U.S.C. § 5107; 38 C.F.R. § 3.102.  See also Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet. App.49, 53-56 (1990).
(Continued on the next page)


The Board finds that the evidence is at least in relative equipoise on the matter here at issue.  Resolving all reasonable doubt in the Veteran’s favor, the Board finds that the criteria for a clothing allowance for 2015 are met.

 
MARJORIE A. AUER
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	S. Kim, Associate Counsel 

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


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.