Case: 21-1079 Document: 20 Page: 1 Filed: 04/08/2021
NOTE: This disposition is nonprecedential.
United States Court of Appeals
for the Federal Circuit
LEON J. MODROWSKI,
DENIS MCDONOUGH, SECRETARY OF
Appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for
Veterans Claims in No. 19-2878, Chief Judge Margaret C.
Bartley, Judge Amanda L. Meredith, Judge Coral Wong Pi-
Decided: April 8, 2021
LEON J. MODROWSKI, Wilmington, NC, pro se.
SARAH E. KRAMER, Commercial Litigation Branch,
Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Wash-
ington, DC, for respondent-appellee. Also represented by
ERIC P. BRUSKIN, JEFFREY B. CLARK, ROBERT EDWARD
KIRSCHMAN, JR.; MEGHAN ALPHONSO, Y. KEN LEE, Office of
Case: 21-1079 Document: 20 Page: 2 Filed: 04/08/2021
2 MODROWSKI v. MCDONOUGH
General Counsel, United States Department of Veterans
Affairs, Washington, DC.
Before O’MALLEY, REYNA, and STOLL, Circuit Judges.
Leon J. Modrowski appeals from a decision of the
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Vet-
erans Court”) affirming a decision of the Board of Veterans’
Appeals (“Board”) denying Modrowski an annual clothing
allowance for the 2017 calendar year. See Modrowski v.
Wilkie, No. 19-2878,
2020 WL 4356866
(Vet. App. July 30,
2020). Because Modrowski raises only factual challenges,
we dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
Modrowski served in the U.S. Army from October 1966
to August 1968. For several years, he has received disabil-
ity compensation benefits for residuals of prostate cancer,
status post-radical prostatectomy. As a result of the pros-
tatectomy, Modrowski experiences urinary drainage that
causes rashes and chafing on his groin and thighs. Mo-
drowski uses various over-the-counter creams on the im-
pacted areas. He contends that, due to the nature of his
condition and the creams, he must frequently wash his
clothes, causing them to wear out at a faster-than-average
In July 2017, Modrowski applied for an annual clothing
allowance for the 2017 calendar year pursuant to 38 C.F.R.
§ 3.810. In part relevant to this appeal, § 3.810 provides
for an annual clothing allowance if the Under Secretary for
Health or a designee certifies that “[a] veteran uses medi-
cation prescribed by a physician for one skin condition,
which is due to a service-connected disability, that causes
irreparable damage to the veteran’s outergarments.”
38 C.F.R. § 3.810(a)(1)(ii)(B). Modrowski’s request was
Case: 21-1079 Document: 20 Page: 3 Filed: 04/08/2021
MODROWSKI v. MCDONOUGH 3
denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Pros-
thetic and Sensory Aids Service. 1
Modrowski appealed to the Board. In June 2018, he
submitted materials indicating that he was using a combi-
nation bacitracin/polymyxin lotion. Months later, he told
the Board that he had been informed that the VA viewed
polymyxin as a staining lotion eligible for a clothing allow-
ance. He thereafter submitted a letter from his physician
indicating that he was a new patient and was using a com-
bination bacitracin/polymyxin cream. The Board denied
Modrowski’s claim for a 2017 clothing allowance in Febru-
ary 2019. It found that Modrowski failed to present evi-
dence that any physician had prescribed skin medication
in 2017 for his service-connected prostate cancer residuals
and concluded that Modrowski’s unsubstantiated claim of
using polymyxin-containing lotion in 2017 was not credible
because the record evidence indicated that Modrowski used
Lotrimin AF and Desitin, neither of which contain poly-
myxin, during that time frame. Modrowski appealed to the
On July 30, 2020, the Veterans Court affirmed the
Board’s decision. The court began by noting, contrary to
Modrowski’s assertions in briefing, that the appeal related
only to a clothing allowance for 2017, not to an allowance
for all years since. The court then explained that Mo-
drowski cited no evidence of a prescription for treatment of
a residual of a service-connected condition and that the rec-
ord did not establish that any creams used by Modrowski
during the relevant time would permanently stain or dam-
age his clothes. The court acknowledged that Modrowski
attempted to challenge the contents of the record before the
agency (“RBA”), but found that Modrowski had failed to
1 Modrowski’s claim was initially mischaracterized
as prosthesis related. The Board and Veterans Court, how-
ever, correctly treated it as medication related.
Case: 21-1079 Document: 20 Page: 4 Filed: 04/08/2021
4 MODROWSKI v. MCDONOUGH
timely raise the issue. Pursuant to Veterans Court rules,
an appellant must raise an RBA dispute within 14 days of
the date on which the appellant is served with the RBA.
U.S. Vet. App. R. 10(b). Modrowski had not filed any notice
of dispute following service of the RBA on August 12, 2019
or the amended RBA on February 20, 2020.
Modrowski timely appealed to this court.
Our jurisdiction to review Veterans Court decisions is
limited. Wanless v. Shinseki,
618 F.3d 1333
, 1336 (Fed.
Cir. 2010). We have jurisdiction “to review and decide any
challenge to the validity of any statute or regulation or any
interpretation thereof . . . and to interpret constitutional
and statutory provisions, to the extent presented and nec-
essary to a decision.” 38 U.S.C. § 7292(c). Unless an appeal
presents a constitutional issue, we cannot, however, “re-
view (A) a challenge to a factual determination, or (B) a
challenge to a law or regulation as applied to the facts of a
Id. § 7292(d)(2); Conway
, 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2004).
Modrowski contends that the Veterans Court “incor-
rectly interpreted 38 C.F.R. § 3.810—Clothing Allowance,
specifically (a)(1)(ii)(B).” Appellant’s Br. at 1. He accu-
rately observes that, to establish entitlement under the
regulation, he was required to show: (1) “a service con-
nected disability the treatment of which requires medica-
tion”; (2) “[t]he medication [was] prescribed by a
physician”; and (3) “[t]he medication . . . permanently dam-
Id. at 3
(discussing 38 C.F.R. § 3.810).
He then argues that the factual record establishes that the
Veterans Court erred in upholding the Board’s determina-
tion that he failed to prove the required elements. He ar-
gues that evidence from 2018 and beyond confirms his use
of a polymyxin-containing cream.
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MODROWSKI v. MCDONOUGH 5
Modrowski’s argument amounts not to a challenge to
the Veterans Court’s interpretation of a regulation, but to
a challenge to factual determinations or the application of
the regulation to the facts of this case. The appeal thus
falls outside the scope of our jurisdiction, and we must dis-
We have considered Modrowski’s remaining argu-
ments and find them unpersuasive. For the reasons dis-
cussed above, we dismiss this appeal for lack of
jurisdiction. Because this appeal is limited to the denial of
a clothing allowance for the 2017 calendar year, nothing in
this case precludes any right Modrowski may have to pur-
sue clothing allowances for subsequent years.