;
VA Claims: Disabled Veterans Community|Hadit.com
Single Judge Application; Francway v. Wilkie, 940 F.3d 1304, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (“[O]nce the veteran raises a challenge to the competency of the medical examiner, the presumption [of competence] has no further effect, and, just as in typical litigation, the side presenting the expert ( here [,] the VA) must satisfy its burden of persuasion as to the examiner’s qualifications.” ); Francway, 940 F.3d. at 1309 (“‘[W]hether an examiner is competent and whether he has rendered an adequate exam[ination] are two separate inquiries.’” (quoting Mathis v. McDonald, 834 F.3d 1347, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (Hughes, J., concurring in denial of rehearing en banc)));

Single Judge Application; Francway v. Wilkie, 940 F.3d 1304, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (“[O]nce the veteran raises a challenge to the competency of the medical examiner, the presumption [of competence] has no further effect, and, just as in typical litigation, the side presenting the expert ( here [,] the VA) must satisfy its burden of persuasion as to the examiner’s qualifications.” ); Francway, 940 F.3d. at 1309 (“‘[W]hether an examiner is competent and whether he has rendered an adequate exam[ination] are two separate inquiries.’” (quoting Mathis v. McDonald, 834 F.3d 1347, 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (Hughes, J., concurring in denial of rehearing en banc)));

Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
No. 20-2915
THOMAS M. CLAYTON, APPELLANT,
V.
DENIS MCDONOUGH,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before MEREDITH, Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
MEREDITH, Judge: The pro se appellant, Thomas M. Clayton, appeals a January 16, 2020,
Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) decision that declined to reopen claims for benefits for a
respiratory disorder, including as due to smoke inhalation, and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and
denied benefits for hearing loss and an acquired psychiatric disorder, including a depressive
disorder and anxiety. Record (R.) at 4-21. The Board reopened a claim and granted benefits for
tinnitus. These are favorable findings that the Court may not disturb. See Medrano v. Nicholson,
21 Vet.App. 165, 170 (2007), aff’d in part, dismissed in part sub nom. Medrano v. Shinseki,
332 F. App’x 625 (Fed. Cir. 2009); see also Bond v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 376, 377 (1992) (per
curiam order) (“This Court’s jurisdiction is confined to the review of final Board . . . decisions
which are adverse to a claimant.”). This appeal is timely, and the Court has jurisdiction to review
the Board’s decision pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a) and 7266(a). Single-judge disposition is
appropriate. See Frankel v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 23, 25-26 (1990). For the following reasons,
the Court will affirm the Board’s decision declining to reopen claims for benefits for a respiratory
disorder, including as due to smoke inhalation, and OSA, and denying benefits for hearing loss
and an acquired psychiatric disorder, including a depressive disorder and anxiety.
2
I. BACKGROUND
The

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