Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 24, 2021

Williams v. McDonough, No. 2021-1646 (Decided: November 24, 2021); presumption of regularity; VA Form 21-6796 was limited “FOR HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT PURPOSES ONLY.”; a statement of nonreceipt standing alone is not enough to rebut the presumption [of mailing], a statement of nonreceipt coupled with other evidence can be.” Romero v. Tran, 33 Vet. App. 252, 264–65 (2021); Absent proof that a decision was made in 1971 on Mr. Williams’s claim, we hold the Board and the Veterans Court legally erred in relying on a presumption of mailing. The VA Form 21-6796 submitted by the government with its supplemental brief does not show that a decision was made on compensation.;

Filed under: Uncategorized — veteranclaims @ 5:50 pm

NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


RICHARD F. WILLIAMS,
Claimant-Appellant
v.
DENIS MCDONOUGH, SECRETARY OF
VETERANS AFFAIRS,
Respondent-Appellee


2021-1646


Appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for
Veterans Claims in No. 19-6765, Senior Judge Robert N.
Davis.


Decided: November 24, 2021


RICHARD F. WILLIAMS, Bethesda, MD, pro se.
DANIEL FALKNOR, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil
Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington,
DC, for respondent-appellee. Also represented by
BRIAN M. BOYNTON, CLAUDIA BURKE, ROBERT EDWARD
KIRSCHMAN, JR., JANA MOSES; CHRISTINA LYNN GREGG,
BRIAN D. GRIFFIN, BRANDON A. JONAS, Office of General
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 1 Filed: 11/24/2021
2 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
Counsel, United States Department of Veterans Affairs,
Washington, DC.


NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential.
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


RICHARD F. WILLIAMS,
Claimant-Appellant
v.
DENIS MCDONOUGH, SECRETARY OF
VETERANS AFFAIRS,
Respondent-Appellee


2021-1646


Appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for
Veterans Claims in No. 19-6765, Senior Judge Robert N.
Davis.


Decided: November 24, 2021


RICHARD F. WILLIAMS, Bethesda, MD, pro se.
DANIEL FALKNOR, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil
Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington,
DC, for respondent-appellee. Also represented by
BRIAN M. BOYNTON, CLAUDIA BURKE, ROBERT EDWARD
KIRSCHMAN, JR., JANA MOSES; CHRISTINA LYNN GREGG,
BRIAN D. GRIFFIN, BRANDON A. JONAS, Office of General
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 1 Filed: 11/24/2021
2 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
Counsel, United States Department of Veterans Affairs,
Washington, DC.


Before LOURIE, LINN, and DYK, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM.
Richard F. Williams appeals a decision of the United
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans
Court) that affirmed a decision of the Board of Veterans’
Appeals (Board), denying him entitlement to an earlier effective
date for his service-connected post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). We vacate and remand.
BACKGROUND
Mr. Williams served on active duty in the U.S. Army
from July 1969 to February 1971. During his service, he
was deployed to Vietnam. Shortly after he separated from
the Army, he apparently filed a claim for service connection
for a “nervous disorder” with a regional office of the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA). S.S.A. 1.1 The record does
not appear to include the claim itself. However, on VA
Form 10-7131, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and
Request for Administrative and Adjudicative Action, under
the heading “Request for Information/Adjudicative Action,”
the VA checked the boxes “Monetary Benefits Information,”
“Service Connection,” and “Adjudicative Action.”
S.S.A. 4. The form also included the statement, “[Mr. Williams]
was not treated in service for this condition – claim
for SC pending.” S.S.A. 4. The VA denied—for “treatment
purposes only”—Mr. Williams’s nervous-disorder claim in
a rating decision in July 1971. S.S.A. 1. The record before
us contains no decision by the VA regional office finally
1 The government submitted a second supplemental
appendix (S.S.A.) with its supplemental brief filed September
14, 2021.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 2 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 3
ruling on the claim for service connection for compensation
purposes, or any record that the VA ever mailed such a decision
to Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams’s time for appeal of
the 1971 denial of service connection, if one was issued,
would run from the date notice of the decision was mailed.
38 U.S.C. § 7105(b).
On December 20, 2010, almost forty years later, Mr.
Williams filed a claim for service connection for a psychiatric
disorder.2 The VA granted service connection for PTSD,
assigning him a fifty percent disability rating effective December
20, 2010.
Mr. Williams challenged the December 20, 2010, effective
date before the Board, arguing that the effective date
for his service-connected PTSD should be based on his 1971
claim following his separation from service. Mr. Williams
maintained—and maintains on appeal—that the VA’s July
1971 rating decision was “not final” and “remained unadjudicated,”
or if the VA did decide his claim, that “he never
received notice of the [VA’s] July 1971 rating decision.”
S.A. 15.
On June 20, 2019, the Board denied Mr. Williams’s request
for an earlier effective date. The Board found that
he “did not . . . submit a request to reopen the previously denied
claim seeking service connection for a nervous disorder,
prior to December 20, 2010.” S.A. 7. Mr. Williams,
for his part, argued that there was no VA decision on his
claim in 1971 and that, in any event, the VA failed to mail
him notice of the July 1971 rating decision (if there was
one) so that the decision never became final, making him
eligible for a 1971 effective date. The Board assumed the
existence of a July 1971 rating decision. Relying on the
2 Mr. Williams also filed claims for service connection
unrelated to PTSD. They are not relevant to his present
appeal.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 3 Filed: 11/24/2021
4 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
presumption of regularity, the Board determined that
“there [was] no clear evidence indicating that the [VA] did
not mail a notice letter of the July 1971 rating decision.”
S.A. 10. As a result, the Board determined that there
“[was] not sufficient [evidence] to rebut the presumption of
administrative regularity” in mailing. S.A. 10. Mr. Williams
appealed the effective-date determination to the Veterans
Court.
On November 13, 2020, the Veterans Court affirmed
the Board’s determination. The Veterans Court, like the
Board, assumed that a decision had been made on the 1971
claim for service connection. The Veterans Court concluded
that “[t]he Board properly found that the presumption
of regularity was not rebutted” as to mailing. S.A. 2.
The Veterans Court explained, “Claiming a VA decision
was not received is not, by itself, the clear evidence required
to rebut the presumption of regularity in mailing.”
S.A. 3–4. The Veterans Court concluded that the Board
“did not clearly err in assigning December 20, 2010, as the
effective date for Mr. Williams’s [service-connected]
PTSD.” S.A. 5. Mr. Williams appeals to this court.
On August 23, 2021, this court issued an order requesting
supplemental briefing addressing the following two
questions, which the government had failed to address in
its informal response brief:
(1) Whether the VA’s 1971 denial of Mr. Williams’s
claim for service connection was made
on the standard VA form; and
(2) If the decision was not on the standard
form, what effect, if any, this has on the presumption
of administrative regularity.
Order, Williams v. McDonough, No. 21-1646 (Fed. Cir. Aug.
23, 2021).
On September 14, 2021, the government responded
and claimed the VA “denied Mr. Williams’s claim for
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 4 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 5
service connection on the standard VA Form 21-6796” and
attached the form from Mr. Williams’s service record. See
Supp. Gov’t Br. 1–2.; S.S.A. 1. This form was contained in
the record before the Veterans Court. The submitted VA
Form 21-6796 includes a rating decision and states, “no
treatment for a nervous condition during military service”
and “NERVOUS CONDITION – claimed by veteran not
shown by the evidence of record.” S.S.A. 1. But the form
was limited “FOR HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT
PURPOSES ONLY.”
S.S.A. 1. Contrary to the government’s
position, it does not show rejection of the claim for
service connected benefits.
On September 17, 2021, Mr. Williams responded, explaining
that the VA form identified by the government reflects
a denial of his claim only for treatment purposes and
arguing that “it does not show that a claim for service connection
for a nervous disorder for compensation purposes
was denied.” Supp. Williams Br. 1 (emphasis in original).
Mr. Williams explained, “[t]here is no such form reflecting
a denial for service connection for compensation purposes,
a fact conceded by the [government] for the first time, years
after the fact that [the VA] and [the government] has construed
the record that there was such a decision.” Supp.
Williams Br. 2.
DISCUSSION
We have limited jurisdiction to review decisions by the
Veterans Court. Wanless v. Shinseki, 618 F.3d 1333, 1336
(Fed. Cir. 2010). We have exclusive jurisdiction to review
and decide any challenge to the validity of any statute or
regulation or any interpretation thereof, and shall decide
any relevant question of law, and to interpret constitutional
and statutory provisions, to the extent presented and
necessary to a decision. 38 U.S.C. §§ 7292(c), (d). We cannot,
however, review “a challenge to a factual determination”
or “a challenge to a law or regulation as applied to the
facts of a particular case,” absent a constitutional issue.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 5 Filed: 11/24/2021
6 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
§ 7292(d)(2).
The presumption of regularity allows courts to “presume
that [public officers] have properly discharged their
official duties,” United States v. Chem. Found., Inc., 272
U.S. 1, 14–15 (1926), and “that what appears regular is regular,”
Butler v. Principi, 244 F.3d 1337, 1340 (Fed. Cir.
2001). “[T]he presumption is overcome only in the face of
clear evidence to the contrary.” Toomer v. McDonald, 783
F.3d 1229, 1235 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks
omitted). To analyze rebuttal evidence, this court has required
consideration of “the totality of the evidence the veteran
presents to rebut the presumption.” Id. at 1236
(internal quotation marks omitted).3 The presumption of
regularity applies to the mailing of notice of a rating decision.
See Butler, 244 F.3d at 1340–41; Miley v. Principi,
366 F.3d 1343, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2004). Although “a
3 As evidence of irregularity, among other things,
Mr. Williams argues the VA’s use of two claim numbers in
his file rebuts the presumption he received notice. Mr. Williams
argues the Board “never addressed the continued recording
of the wrong claim number on VA administrative
records numerous times during the decades,” even after the
VA consolidated the two claim numbers. Informal Opening
Br. 7 (emphasis omitted). In view of “the incorrect claims
file numbers recorded over a period of many years,” Mr.
Williams argues “the presumption of regularity should be
rebutted as a matter of law.” Informal Opening Br. 8 (emphasis
omitted). The Veterans Court quoted the Board’s
rejection of Mr. Williams’s argument: “As both claims file
numbers of record were associated with the Veteran, the
record evidence containing the canceled claims[’] file number
does not show that the July 1971 notice letter was
‘mailed to another veteran.’” S.A. 2. We see no legal error
in this determination, and the Veterans Court’s factual
finding is beyond our jurisdiction to review.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 6 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 7
statement of nonreceipt standing alone is not enough to rebut
the presumption [of mailing], a statement of nonreceipt
coupled with other evidence can be.” Romero v. Tran, 33
Vet. App. 252, 264–65 (2021).
The government does not argue that the presumption
of regularity can support a finding that a decision was
made by the VA regional office. It relies only on the presumption
to establish that the supposed decision was
mailed. But there can be no presumption of mailing if there
was no decision in the first place. Absent proof that a decision
was made in 1971 on Mr. Williams’s claim, we hold
the Board and the Veterans Court legally erred in relying
on a presumption of mailing. The VA Form 21-6796 submitted
by the government with its supplemental brief does
not show that a decision was made on compensation.
The
decision recorded on the form was limited “for hospitalization
or treatment purposes only.” S.S.A. 1 (capitalization
omitted). The form does not demonstrate a final decision
rejecting service connection for disability compensation.
We remand to the Veterans Court to address a question
left unaddressed by the Veterans Court’s earlier decision—
whether the VA regional office made a decision in July
1971 on Mr. Williams’s claim.4 Absent such a decision,
4 The government also appears to argue, for the first
time in its supplemental brief, that Mr. Williams never
submitted a claim for service connection for disability compensation
with his nervous-disorder claim in 1971. The
government argues, “the fact that an individual sought
medical treatment from VA does not gives rise to an original
claim for disability compensation or evince the intent
necessary to raise a claim for disability compensation.”
Supp. Gov’t Br. 3. In response, Mr. Williams identified VA
Form 10-7131, as discussed earlier, where the VA checked
the boxes for Adjudicative Action, Monetary Benefits Information,
and Service Connection, and included remarks
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 7 Filed: 11/24/2021
8 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
there can be no presumption of regularity in mailing.5
VACATED AND REMANDED
COSTS
Costs to Mr. Williams.
stating, “[Mr. Williams] was not treated in service for this
condition – claim for SC pending.” S.S.A. 4. Although the
government’s argument is likely waived as not previously
raised and appears contrary to the government’s previous
position that “Mr. Williams filed a [VA] claim for service
connection for a nervous disorder,” Gov’t Br. 2, we leave it
to the Veterans Court to address this issue in the first instance.
5 Mr. Williams also argues that the “VA did not adjudicate
[his] earlier claim with consideration of [clear and
unmistakable error (CUE)],” labeling it “an original claim”
that he raises for the first time on appeal. Informal Opening
Br. 4. As Mr. Williams essentially concedes in his briefing,
we are without jurisdiction to consider Mr. Williams’s
claim of CUE in the first instance. If Mr. Williams wishes
to press his claim of CUE in the VA’s 1971 decision, he may
request revision of that decision on the basis of CUE before
the VA.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 8 Filed: 11/24/2021

Before LOURIE, LINN, and DYK, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM.
Richard F. Williams appeals a decision of the United
States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (Veterans
Court) that affirmed a decision of the Board of Veterans’
Appeals (Board), denying him entitlement to an earlier effective
date for his service-connected post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). We vacate and remand.
BACKGROUND
Mr. Williams served on active duty in the U.S. Army
from July 1969 to February 1971. During his service, he
was deployed to Vietnam. Shortly after he separated from
the Army, he apparently filed a claim for service connection
for a “nervous disorder” with a regional office of the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA). S.S.A. 1.1 The record does
not appear to include the claim itself. However, on VA
Form 10-7131, Exchange of Beneficiary Information and
Request for Administrative and Adjudicative Action, under
the heading “Request for Information/Adjudicative Action,”
the VA checked the boxes “Monetary Benefits Information,”
“Service Connection,” and “Adjudicative Action.”
S.S.A. 4. The form also included the statement, “[Mr. Williams]
was not treated in service for this condition – claim
for SC pending.” S.S.A. 4. The VA denied—for “treatment
purposes only”—Mr. Williams’s nervous-disorder claim in
a rating decision in July 1971. S.S.A. 1. The record before
us contains no decision by the VA regional office finally
1 The government submitted a second supplemental
appendix (S.S.A.) with its supplemental brief filed September
14, 2021.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 2 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 3
ruling on the claim for service connection for compensation
purposes, or any record that the VA ever mailed such a decision
to Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams’s time for appeal of
the 1971 denial of service connection, if one was issued,
would run from the date notice of the decision was mailed.
38 U.S.C. § 7105(b).
On December 20, 2010, almost forty years later, Mr.
Williams filed a claim for service connection for a psychiatric
disorder.2 The VA granted service connection for PTSD,
assigning him a fifty percent disability rating effective December
20, 2010.
Mr. Williams challenged the December 20, 2010, effective
date before the Board, arguing that the effective date
for his service-connected PTSD should be based on his 1971
claim following his separation from service. Mr. Williams
maintained—and maintains on appeal—that the VA’s July
1971 rating decision was “not final” and “remained unadjudicated,”
or if the VA did decide his claim, that “he never
received notice of the [VA’s] July 1971 rating decision.”
S.A. 15.
On June 20, 2019, the Board denied Mr. Williams’s request
for an earlier effective date. The Board found that
he “did not . . . submit a request to reopen the previouslydenied
claim seeking service connection for a nervous disorder,
prior to December 20, 2010.” S.A. 7. Mr. Williams,
for his part, argued that there was no VA decision on his
claim in 1971 and that, in any event, the VA failed to mail
him notice of the July 1971 rating decision (if there was
one) so that the decision never became final, making him
eligible for a 1971 effective date. The Board assumed the
existence of a July 1971 rating decision. Relying on the
2 Mr. Williams also filed claims for service connection
unrelated to PTSD. They are not relevant to his present
appeal.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 3 Filed: 11/24/2021
4 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
presumption of regularity, the Board determined that
“there [was] no clear evidence indicating that the [VA] did
not mail a notice letter of the July 1971 rating decision.”
S.A. 10. As a result, the Board determined that there
“[was] not sufficient [evidence] to rebut the presumption of
administrative regularity” in mailing. S.A. 10. Mr. Williams
appealed the effective-date determination to the Veterans
Court.
On November 13, 2020, the Veterans Court affirmed
the Board’s determination. The Veterans Court, like the
Board, assumed that a decision had been made on the 1971
claim for service connection. The Veterans Court concluded
that “[t]he Board properly found that the presumption
of regularity was not rebutted” as to mailing. S.A. 2.
The Veterans Court explained, “Claiming a VA decision
was not received is not, by itself, the clear evidence required
to rebut the presumption of regularity in mailing.”
S.A. 3–4. The Veterans Court concluded that the Board
“did not clearly err in assigning December 20, 2010, as the
effective date for Mr. Williams’s [service-connected]
PTSD.” S.A. 5. Mr. Williams appeals to this court.
On August 23, 2021, this court issued an order requesting
supplemental briefing addressing the following two
questions, which the government had failed to address in
its informal response brief:
(1) Whether the VA’s 1971 denial of Mr. Williams’s
claim for service connection was made
on the standard VA form; and
(2) If the decision was not on the standard
form, what effect, if any, this has on the presumption
of administrative regularity.
Order, Williams v. McDonough, No. 21-1646 (Fed. Cir. Aug.
23, 2021).
On September 14, 2021, the government responded
and claimed the VA “denied Mr. Williams’s claim for
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 4 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 5
service connection on the standard VA Form 21-6796” and
attached the form from Mr. Williams’s service record. See
Supp. Gov’t Br. 1–2.; S.S.A. 1. This form was contained in
the record before the Veterans Court. The submitted VA
Form 21-6796 includes a rating decision and states, “no
treatment for a nervous condition during military service”
and “NERVOUS CONDITION – claimed by veteran not
shown by the evidence of record.” S.S.A. 1. But the form
was limited “FOR HOSPITALIZATION OR TREATMENT
PURPOSES ONLY.” S.S.A. 1. Contrary to the government’s
position, it does not show rejection of the claim for
service connected benefits.
On September 17, 2021, Mr. Williams responded, explaining
that the VA form identified by the government reflects
a denial of his claim only for treatment purposes and
arguing that “it does not show that a claim for service connection
for a nervous disorder for compensation purposes
was denied.” Supp. Williams Br. 1 (emphasis in original).
Mr. Williams explained, “[t]here is no such form reflecting
a denial for service connection for compensation purposes,
a fact conceded by the [government] for the first time, years
after the fact that [the VA] and [the government] has construed
the record that there was such a decision.” Supp.
Williams Br. 2.
DISCUSSION
We have limited jurisdiction to review decisions by the
Veterans Court. Wanless v. Shinseki, 618 F.3d 1333, 1336
(Fed. Cir. 2010). We have exclusive jurisdiction to review
and decide any challenge to the validity of any statute or
regulation or any interpretation thereof, and shall decide
any relevant question of law, and to interpret constitutional
and statutory provisions, to the extent presented and
necessary to a decision. 38 U.S.C. §§ 7292(c), (d). We cannot,
however, review “a challenge to a factual determination”
or “a challenge to a law or regulation as applied to the
facts of a particular case,” absent a constitutional issue.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 5 Filed: 11/24/2021
6 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
§ 7292(d)(2).
The presumption of regularity allows courts to “presume
that [public officers] have properly discharged their
official duties,” United States v. Chem. Found., Inc., 272
U.S. 1, 14–15 (1926), and “that what appears regular is regular,”
Butler v. Principi, 244 F.3d 1337, 1340 (Fed. Cir.
2001). “[T]he presumption is overcome only in the face of
clear evidence to the contrary.” Toomer v. McDonald, 783
F.3d 1229, 1235 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks
omitted). To analyze rebuttal evidence, this court has required
consideration of “the totality of the evidence the veteran
presents to rebut the presumption.” Id. at 1236
(internal quotation marks omitted).3 The presumption of
regularity applies to the mailing of notice of a rating decision.
See Butler, 244 F.3d at 1340–41; Miley v. Principi,
366 F.3d 1343, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2004). Although “a
3 As evidence of irregularity, among other things,
Mr. Williams argues the VA’s use of two claim numbers in
his file rebuts the presumption he received notice. Mr. Williams
argues the Board “never addressed the continued recording
of the wrong claim number on VA administrative
records numerous times during the decades,” even after the
VA consolidated the two claim numbers. Informal Opening
Br. 7 (emphasis omitted). In view of “the incorrect claims
file numbers recorded over a period of many years,” Mr.
Williams argues “the presumption of regularity should be
rebutted as a matter of law.” Informal Opening Br. 8 (emphasis
omitted). The Veterans Court quoted the Board’s
rejection of Mr. Williams’s argument: “As both claims file
numbers of record were associated with the Veteran, the
record evidence containing the canceled claims[’] file number
does not show that the July 1971 notice letter was
‘mailed to another veteran.’” S.A. 2. We see no legal error
in this determination, and the Veterans Court’s factual
finding is beyond our jurisdiction to review.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 6 Filed: 11/24/2021
WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH 7
statement of nonreceipt standing alone is not enough to rebut
the presumption [of mailing], a statement of nonreceipt
coupled with other evidence can be.” Romero v. Tran, 33
Vet. App. 252, 264–65 (2021)
.
The government does not argue that the presumption
of regularity can support a finding that a decision was
made by the VA regional office. It relies only on the presumption
to establish that the supposed decision was
mailed. But there can be no presumption of mailing if there
was no decision in the first place. Absent proof that a decision
was made in 1971 on Mr. Williams’s claim, we hold
the Board and the Veterans Court legally erred in relying
on a presumption of mailing. The VA Form 21-6796 submitted
by the government with its supplemental brief does
not show that a decision was made on compensation. The
decision recorded on the form was limited “for hospitalization
or treatment purposes only.” S.S.A. 1 (capitalization
omitted). The form does not demonstrate a final decision
rejecting service connection for disability compensation.
We remand to the Veterans Court to address a question
left unaddressed by the Veterans Court’s earlier decision—
whether the VA regional office made a decision in July
1971 on Mr. Williams’s claim.4 Absent such a decision,
4 The government also appears to argue, for the first
time in its supplemental brief, that Mr. Williams never
submitted a claim for service connection for disability compensation
with his nervous-disorder claim in 1971. The
government argues, “the fact that an individual sought
medical treatment from VA does not gives rise to an original
claim for disability compensation or evince the intent
necessary to raise a claim for disability compensation.”
Supp. Gov’t Br. 3. In response, Mr. Williams identified VA
Form 10-7131, as discussed earlier, where the VA checked
the boxes for Adjudicative Action, Monetary Benefits Information,
and Service Connection, and included remarks
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 7 Filed: 11/24/2021
8 WILLIAMS v. MCDONOUGH
there can be no presumption of regularity in mailing.5
VACATED AND REMANDED
COSTS
Costs to Mr. Williams.
stating, “[Mr. Williams] was not treated in service for this
condition – claim for SC pending.” S.S.A. 4. Although the
government’s argument is likely waived as not previously
raised and appears contrary to the government’s previous
position that “Mr. Williams filed a [VA] claim for service
connection for a nervous disorder,” Gov’t Br. 2, we leave it
to the Veterans Court to address this issue in the first instance.
5 Mr. Williams also argues that the “VA did not adjudicate
[his] earlier claim with consideration of [clear and
unmistakable error (CUE)],” labeling it “an original claim”
that he raises for the first time on appeal. Informal Opening
Br. 4. As Mr. Williams essentially concedes in his briefing,
we are without jurisdiction to consider Mr. Williams’s
claim of CUE in the first instance. If Mr. Williams wishes
to press his claim of CUE in the VA’s 1971 decision, he may
request revision of that decision on the basis of CUE before
the VA.
Case: 21-1646 Document: 28 Page: 8 Filed: 11/24/2021

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Powered by WordPress.com.