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VA wrongly tells veterans they’re dead, cuts off benefits

By Tamara Lush:  Mike Rieker, a 69-year-old Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, relies on his Veterans Affairs benefits to get him through the month.  That’s why the Pinellas County, Florida, resident was alarmed when his VA check didn’t show up in his bank account Monday. He called the Department of Veterans Affairs office to find out why, and their response was stunning: The benefits had been suspended because he was dead.  “Well, I’m not,” Rieker retorted. “I woke up this morning and I’m feeling rather chipper, in fact.”