Constituent Success Stories

My staff works with constituents of Arizona's First Congressional District to resolve disputes with federal agencies. Please do not hesitate to reach out to one of my three district offices in Flagstaff, Casa Grande, and Northwest Tucson, visit one of my many mobile offices, or send us an email.
 
Savings
 
Phyllis, Oracle: Phyllis notified my office that she was unable to communicate with Medicare, her policy was dropped, and she had no Social Security or Medicare. My staff was able to address the issue. Shortly after she reached out to my office for assistance, her Medicare was reinstated, and she is going to receive $18,000 in backpay that she was owed.
 
Diane: Diane applied for Social Security Disability Insurance in 2014 due to a multiple sclerosis diagnosis. She was facing severe hardship and was unable to get the issue resolved and her back pay released. My staff was able to work with her and the Social Security Administration, and she finally received her award. The case was successfully resolved, and she had $79,000 of backpay, dating back to 2014 for her multiple sclerosis claim, released. In addition, she will receive $2,363 a month.
 
Paula, Oro Valley: Paula had Medicare Part A and signed up for private health care. She was trying to confirm her enrollment in Part B, but she was unable to get information from her local office. She was referred to my office by her attorney, and my staff was able to confirm that she was enrolled in Medicare Part B.
 
William, Show Low: William, an Arizona veteran, visited the weekly mobile office held at the Show Low VFW to receive assistance with his VA treatment. His primary care physician put in three different referrals for care, but almost a year later none of the referrals had come through. There was some delay in addressing all of his concerns, but my staff was finally able to get all of his concerns addressed. William was very happy with the help from my staff, and during last a recent VA Town Hall in Show Low, he stood up to make comments regarding his experience with my office and the success in receiving his care.
 
Jason, Pinetop-Lakeside: Jason called my office for help in getting his VA pension reestablished. The problem was that Jason did not update his address with the VA and his checks were being returned by the Post Office. He called my office frantically when he ran out of money and was facing eviction. My staff contacted the VA Pension Management Center and helped straighten everything out. Jason received a lump sum check for all the past due payment that had been returned and will start to receive his normal monthly checks.
 
Samuel, Casa Grande: Samuel’s employer came into my Casa Grande office because they had a work visa but the Social Security Administration would not issue a Social Security card. This prevented Samuel from starting his job. They had previously worked with the Social Security Administration for several weeks, but they were unable to resolve the issue. My staff sent a waiver to Social Security and USCIS and within 4 days the card was issued.
 
Joan, Concho: Joan contacted my office because she had been trying for over 14 months to finalize work on her house with a HUD grant. Joan is completely disabled and was approved to get a home repair grant to fix heating and plumbing issues. Due to mix-ups and miscommunications, she was unable to regularly talk with her caseworker. My office did the inquiry, sent emails, and made follow-up calls. Within 10 days the contracts were signed, and the work is getting started on her home.
 
Brian, Show Low: Brian contacted my office for help regarding his VA home loan benefit. Brian experienced a foreclosure in 2000, and when he recently inquired about his current loan status, he was told that he must pay the VA $36,000 to cover the loss on the sale of the home if he wanted to use this benefit again. However, Brian had proof that his home actually sold for more money at auction and the VA did not lose any money. My office sent in an inquiry to the VA. The VA got back to us and stated that no monetary loss, and Brian's home loan benefit was fully restored.
 
D. A., Flagstaff: D had been waiting several months for his Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD). My office was able to contact the National Benefits Center (NBC) to inquire about the status of his work authorization. Within two weeks of our inquiry, we were notified that his work authorization was being processed and that he would be receiving it very soon in the mail. D has since received his work permit and was recently hired by a software company.
 
Doug, Camp Verde: Doug is a disabled Veteran who contacted my office to notify us that he was in dire need of toiletries, mouthwash, cat food and other items that he could not obtain with his EBT (food stamps). With the copy of his DD214 that he provided, my office was able to send his information to a non-profit the provides assistance to veterans. The organization provided him with a gift card to pay for those items. Doug received the gift card less than 24 hours after his initial request to my office.
 
Floyd, Winslow: Floyd called my office and he was unable to get a referral called in to take care of an appointment he needed for cancer of the jaw. Due to the cancer in his jaw, he was having trouble conveying his issue and getting assistance. My staff was able to call and get him an appointment immediately. 
 
Marcus, Casa Grande: Marcus contacted my office regarding his concerns about his due disability severance pay from the U.S. Army, starting all the way back in 2005 and running through May 2019. Mr. Christiansen was concerned because he had submitted all required documentation but never received any disbursements or word regarding this entitlement. My staff and I worked to ensure that the Army adjudicated and disbursed Mr. Christiansen’s $84,989.44 in disability severance pay and officially concluded the matter in December 2019.
 
Rueth, FlagstaffIn June of 2019, the VA board ruled that Rueth, a military widow living in Flagstaff, was to be granted over $74,000 in benefits as a result of her husband’s service-related death. Rueth contacted my office in November, having heard nothing from the VA for months. We sent an official inquiry on her behalf, and she finally received her backpay on December 17, 2019.
 
Glenn and Adele, Maricopa: Glenn and Adele's daughter contacted my office to help get her parents out of Morocco when the COVID-19 crisis began. They were traveling with a tour group and flights were cancelled. We were able to get her critical information and send up to date responses from the Embassy. With our help, Glenn and Adele were able to sign up for the Safe Traveler program at the Department of State. We stayed in contact with their daughter and notified her immediately every time we received alerts about the situation. Glenn and Adele made it onto a flight and safely back to America the second week of March. 
 
Kyle, Hopi: Caseworkers on my staff were notified by the Hopi tribe that a student who was traveling with a group of 12 students was left behind with 4 other students when they tried to board a plane in Guatemala. My office sent a letter of support to the Department of State and the Embassy in Guatemala with all his contact information. Kyle was able to get on a plane and back safely to America a few days later. 
 
Kendra, St, Johns: Kendra contacted my office because she and her family were having financial hardships and she hadn’t received her refund check from the IRS. We contacted taxpayer advocates and they were able to process her refund and send it out. 
 
Douglas, Casa Grande: Douglas contacted my office for assistance because the VA was not paying his due travel reimbursements. He travels to the Phoenix VA Health Care System on a regular basis to obtain care for various ailments. Unfortunately, after many hard-fought battles with the VA, he has been relegated to 10% service-connected and depends substantially on the travel reimbursement offset. The relevant travel costs out-of-pocket were creating considerable financial strain, creating the choice between sustaining his housing and receiving medical care. My staff contacted the VA and successfully procured the relevant reimbursements, transferred directly to Douglas's account shortly thereafter. 
 
Catherine, Flagstaff: Catherine contacted my office because her husband was stuck in El Salvador due to measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and trying to find a way to get back home. My staff was able to get him signed up in the STEP program and successfully brought him home.
 

Triana, Casa Grande: Triana contacted my office because she was having difficulties with her 2019 tax returns, and is home sick and out of work due to the COVID-19 crisis. Our office was able to identify the complications with receiving her tax return. The IRS released the hold on her returns and she received the $5,000 she was owed.

Carl, Oro Valley: Carl reached out to my office because his son, Trenton, was stuck in Moscow, Russia due to COVID-19, as the Russian government had suspended all international flights. My staff contacted the State Department and the US Consulate in Moscow to negotiate a flight home, and successfully brought him home to Phoenix.

Barbara, Eloy: Barbara contacted my office because her husband had recently passed away and she was wondering if the open claim her husband had with the VBA could be resolved. My staff was able to contact the Benefits office and resolve the issue, returning $1,744 in owed benefits to Barbara.

Wilbur, Casa Grande: Wilbur contacted my office because the IRS had placed holds on both his and his wife's accounts, prohibiting them from receiving thier tax return. They were also under threat of eviction because they had an unpaid balance. My staff was able to resolve these holds and get Wilbur and his wife their $8,000 tax return, allowing them to pay outstanding bills and retain their housing.

Tessa, Camp Verde: Tessa contacted my office because she was having issues receiving her tax returns. My staff was able to resolve this issue with the IRS, and Tessa received the $8,084 she was owed.

Saul, Flagstaff: Saul contacted my office because he had applied for unemployment in March and had not received any correspondence other than a rejection letter saying that he didn’t qualify due to a severance check he got when he was laid off. My staff contacted DES and they determined that the severance package made him ineligible for the first two weeks of his claim, but that he was eligible for employment for the ensuing weeks that followed those initial two weeks. He was paid on May 26th for that week and 5 additional weeks of back pay.

Judy, Page: Judy filed for unemployment in March and had been unable to get any feedback over several weeks of trying to contact DES regarding the status of her claim. My office filed an inquiry and a request for a follow-up. Within 48 hours she was awarded and paid for 9 weeks of unemployment and 7 weeks of pandemic assistance for a total of $5253 in back pay and current pay to bring her claim up to date.

Geraldine, Flagstaff: Geraldine contacted my office because she was unable to get her tax refund. My office contacted Taxpayer Advocates and was able to secure her refund after sending documents for job verification to IRS. They accepted her documents and issued her $6,638.57 refund. 

David, Verde Valley: David contacted my office about his tax return that he had submitted in February. He was unable to get a status and unable to contact the IRS. My office escalated the issue to Taxpayer Advocates and David received his $1,566.69 return with additional interest.  He emailed my staff and said, “I really appreciate you taking the time to look into this matter. I've never had a need to contact my elected representative to advocate for a problem.”

Todd, Maricopa: Todd is a Permanent Disabled Veteran. He approached my office displeased because the VA was attempting to appoint a fiduciary to manage his disability compensation on his behalf, having made the claim that Todd was “incompetent.” My staff worked with Todd to compile documentation to demonstrate his competency and the VA dropped their attempt to appoint a fiduciary so he and his wife can continue managing their own finances. My office also worked to ensure he received $6,700 he was owed in backpay.

Joseph, Grand Canyon: Joseph came to my office unable to get his 2019 tax return. My staff filed an inquiry on his behalf immediately, and his $505.93 return was released to him.

Jeff, Village of Oak Creek: Jeff reached out to my office office for assistance regarding his wife's need for a new military dependent ID card.  Many repeated calls to Luke AFB had gone unanswered. My office was able to get the issue resolved within less than 30 minutes and his wife now has the necessary new card.