Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 21, 2021

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. (2020); citations;

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — veteranclaims @ 12:55 pm

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 258 (2020)(“[A]n examiner must address the veteran’s relevant statements ….”)

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 249, 259 (2020) (“[I]t is the Board that must make a credibility determination,something it may not outsource to a medical examiner.”

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 249, 259 (2020)(holding that because of the presumption that the Board has reviewed the evidence, “when the record includes the veteran’s lay reports, which the Board did not find to be not credible, we may ordinarily conclude that it made an implicit credibility determination”)

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 249,259 (2020)(explaining that, although “medical evidence may play a role in the Board’s evaluation of credibility,” “it is the Board that must make a credibility determination, something it may not outsource to a medical examiner”)

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 259-60 (2020) (discussing the “useful role that a medical examiner can play in helping the Board evaluate the credibility of the veteran’s reports”)

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 249, 261 (2020)(holding that the Court may conclude that the Board implicitly finds the veteran credible “[w]hen the Board has made its decision without finding that the veteran is not competent to report symptoms and nothing suggests that the Board failed to review the evidence at issue”

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 261-62 (2020)(noting that the Board’s statement of reasons or bases must enable the claimant to understand the precise basis for its determinations and facilitate judicial review)

Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 260 (2020)(“[W]hen the record includes the veteran’s lay reports,which the Board did not find to be not credible,we may ordinarily conclude that it made an implicit credibility determination.If something as fundamental as the veteran’s credibility were an issue,we would expect the Board to say something.”); Barr v. Nicholson, 21 Vet.App.303, 307 (2007)(holding that lay evidence is competent to establish observable symptoms of a disability)

Though an examiner need not discuss all evidence favorable to an appellant, Roberson v. Shinseki, 22 Vet.App. 358,366 (2009), aff’d 607 F.3d 809 (Fed.Cir. 2010),the examiner must address a veteran’s lay statements when doing so is necessary to inform the Board’s decision, Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 262 (2020)

“ The bottom line is that ‘ VA medical examiners … are nothing more or less than expert witnesses.’” Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App.249, 254 (2020)(quoting Nieves-Rodriguez v. Peake, 22 Vet.App. 295,304 (2008)

“Thus, their opinions ‘are adequate when they sufficiently inform the Board of a medical expert’s judgment on a medical question and the essential rationale for that opinion.’” Miller, 32 Vet.App. at 254 (quoting Monzingo, 26 Vet.App. at 105)

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