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Veterans Affairs asks for $581 benefit repayment after soldier’s suicide: report

Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

Veterans Affairs wrote to the husband of a retired soldier who killed herself Christmas Day saying the family would have to return of part of her monthly disability payment.

The Jan. 9 letter that arrived just days after the funeral for retired Cpl. Leona MacEachern expressed condolences but also said her benefits were payable up to the day she died.

It explained that resulted in an overpayment of $581.67 and that the family would be contacted by the "Overpayment Unit."

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Her husband, Tom MacEachern, told CTV News in an email that the letter was "a slap in the face."

However, the office of Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told the network the minister has since directed the department to not collect the money.

Leona MacEachern, who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, died when she drove her car into an oncoming transport truck near Calgary.

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