Being denied benefits after the first claim is typical for many veterans, but now, after recent allegations, the Department of Veterans Affairs is under investigation.

Reports surfaced this week that veterans aren’t receiving quality care at VA facilities. An instance of 40 veterans dying before receiving treatment in Phoenix caused the push for investigation. Since that point, more condemning facts emerged, including that VA facilities keep treatment delays a secret.

Channel 9 in Charlotte, N.C., followed up on the national allegations, examining how soon local benefits receive benefits. The findings reflect a 2013 report from a Texas CBS station, which discovered some veterans die before receiving any benefits, with the widow left to continue the claim.

As well, a significant percentage – about 76,000 individuals over the last few years – get “chartered” to be ineligible for benefits. Often, the soldier becomes injured while on duty and receives a dishonorable discharge as a result.

In the recent Charlotte report, local veterans continue to struggle to receive benefits, even years after filing their initial application. As the piece details, multiple denies block a veteran from receiving any compensation or, in certain cases, more benefits. The VA, according to statements, provides no explanation for the denials, all while former soldiers and family continue to be without help.

Currently, according to statistics from Channel 9, 8,246 in Winston-Salem alone continue to wait.

Veterans may be eligible for a few types of benefits:

VA Compensation Benefits
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Total Disability Based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU)

As well, certain conditions related to VA benefits have received legal attention in recent years, including PTSD, Agent Orange-related illnesses, Gulf War Syndrome, and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Although a lawyer may not be needed to initially apply for veterans’ benefits, getting representation after the first denial becomes necessary to navigate the claims process and ultimately receive sufficient compensation.