It has long been established that The Department of Veterans Affairs is a complete mess which fails to live up to the promises our country has made to veterans. Now the VA seems to have sunk to a new low as it tells a living man that his benefits have been cut because he is deceased.

Florida man Mike Reiker recently learned of his unfortunate passing when his disability check from the VA didn’t arrive in the mail as usual. When Reiker called to investigate the issue, he was told that his wife had informed the VA of his death. “But I don’t have a wife,” he told the employee.

While this may sound like a comedic bit, the reality of what a missed disability payment means for Mr. Reiker is no joke. “I’m scared to death,” Reiker said, indicating that he depends heavily upon the payments he receives each month as he suffers from several health problems caused and exacerbated by his exposure to Agent Orange while in Vietnam.

Representatives of the VA have declared the issue a result of human error, but six other cases just like Reikers have been reported.  It is clear that something needs to be done to catch these issues before they impact the lives of our most vulnerable heroes.

For more information, visit TBO “Vietnam veteran to VA: I’m not dead, restore my benefits”


Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at