Single Judge Application; failure define term or degree; Mr. Thornton cites Johnson v. Wilkie, 30 Vet.App. 245, 255 (2018), arguing that the Board must disclose the standard under which it is operating. Appellant’s Br. at 26. But Johnson focused on a situation where the Board failed to define a term of degree (specifically, “very frequent”) that could be applied inconsistently across similar cases without a clear definition. 30 Vet.App. at 255;
Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
No. 20- 0882
NORMAN F. THORNTON, APPELLANT,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before FALVEY, Judge.
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
FALVEY, Judge: Army veteran Norman F. Thornton through counsel appeals a January
23, 2019, Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision denying a rating above 50% for post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and denying a rating above 40% for a disability manifested by fatigue, joint
pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, body shakes, and diarrhea
as due to an undiagnosed illness.1 The appeal is timely, the Court has jurisdiction to review the
Board decision, and single-judge disposition is appropriate. See 38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a), 7266(a);
Frankel v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 23, 25-26 (1990).
As for the PTSD claims, we are asked to decide whether the Board incorrectly applied the
rating schedule, the benefit of the doubt doctrine, the rule on the assignment of the higher of two
ratings, and the duty to maximize benefits, and whether the Board gave an adequate statement of
reasons or bases. As for the undiagnosed illness claim, we are asked to decide whether the Board
incorrectly selected an analogous rating or incorrectly applied 38 C.F.R. § 4.88b, Diagnostic Code
(DC) 6354, and whether the Board gave an adequate statement of reasons or bases. For the reasons
below, we will affirm the Board’s decision.
1 The Board granted entitlement to a total disability rating based on individual unemployability (TDIU).
Record (R.) at 5. This is a favorable finding that this Court cannot disturb.