ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- CBS46 is fighting for a veteran’s widow who says she's been going in circles with multiple VA departments since her husband’s death.

Dealing with a death can be difficult, now imagine adding that pain with the red tape that some say comes when navigating the VA benefits system. That was the situation for Dora Nopple.

“I’ve just been fighting with the VA,” said Nopple as she described the new routine of calling and visiting the VA ever since her husband and Vietnam vet Joseph died.

“I think when you’re married 42 years and the other person isn’t here anymore, it’s so hard and fighting every day is even harder,” added Nopple.

Joseph had a heart attack on June 9. At the time he was receiving 100 percent disability, which he used to support him and his wife, but when he died the VA quickly halted everything.

“They stopped his check at the end of June but they said they can't do anything else until I have his death certificate” said Nopple. 

But here’s the dilemma, since Joseph was in the VA’s care the medical examiner could not sign off on the death certificate, and the VA said since Joseph hadn't seen his primary care provider in more than a year they couldn't sign off either.

That’s when CBS46 got involved. We contacted the VA and they quickly corrected the situation. and Tuesday the VA provided the death certificate. 

"It’s definitely CBS46 that has gotten me this death certificate," added Nopple. But the fight isn't over.

The VA still has not restored her benefits, however they did send us a statement saying, “Any time a beneficiary has concerns with VA benefits or services, we reach out to them directly to discuss those concerns just as we did with Mrs. Nopple.”

But Nopple is not optimistic. "I don't understand why they make it so difficult," she said.

Before Joseph’s death, they were in the process of buying a home but since they were using a VA loan that process is also on hold.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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