Pederson v. McDonald, 27 Vet.App. 276 (en banc) (Feb. 13, 2015)
CAVC JURISDICTION TO REVIEW ABANDONED ISSUES; TDIU
Held: “[T]he Court retains jurisdiction over all finally decided issues [in a Board decision], regardless of whether the [Notice of Appeal] itself or the subsequent briefing narrows the issues on appeal.” However, the Court “will generally decline to exercise its authority to address an issue not raised by an appellant in his or her opening brief.” For purposes of a subsequent CUE challenge, the body of the Court’s decision must be reviewed to determine “whether the issue was reviewed by the Court on the merits.” With respect to TDIU, the burden is on the claimant to show that his/her education and experience would preclude substantially gainful sedentary employment, and the Board must consider all relevant evidence, including the effect of the claimant’s nonservice-connected conditions on employability. NOTE: This case was appealed to the Federal Circuit April 30, 2015.