Help With Federal Agencies
My office can assist you with a federal agency by making a congressional inquiry on your behalf. Below you will find a partial list of agencies that I can contact. In each case, I will need a completed privacy authorization form to comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act. Please click here for a printable version of the privacy authorization form for help with a federal agency. When completed, fax or mail the form to:
1611 N. Magnolia Ave., Ste 310
El Cajon, CA 92020
As soon as the information is received a congressional inquiry will be initiated on your behalf. Due to the complexity of each case, response time from federal agencies may vary.
NOTE: Please keep in mind, my office acts as a liaison and can not circumvent federal laws or regulations. Due to separation of federal, state and judicial powers under the Constitution, there are certain areas in which my office can not intervene.
Which agency do you need help with?
Internal Revenue Service
- Where can I get IRS forms?
- How will the tax rebate I received in summer 2001 affect my tax return?
- Who can I talk to about problems like liens, back taxes, penalties, etc.?
- What can I do if I don't receive my tax refund check?
- Where can I get help with understanding my rights and answers to other questions?
FCC - Federal Communications Commission
How do I file a complaint with the FCC?
The FCC accepts complaints regarding all aspects of broadcasting including: telemarketing, telephone slamming, improper taxes, obscene broadcasts, and broadcast interference.
Housing and Urban Development
Citizenship and Immigration Services
How can I find out the status of my paperwork with the USCIS?
To check your status online, please visit the USCIS Case Status Online service.
The USCIS website has information on every type of form, addresses for INS offices, information on fee changes, and a place to order forms online or through the mail.
Department of Labor
How can I get information about federal laws involving overtime, work hours, and other employment issues?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates many aspect of how employees are paid in this country.
How do I take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act?
There are many misconceptions about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. For example, in most cases you need to talk to your employer about it before you take time off. Also, the law affects all public employers, but only private employers who have 50 or more employees.
Does Medicare Part B pay for prescription drugs?
Medicare Part B does not include a prescription drug benefit. However, if coverage guidelines are met, Medicare allows payment for some immunosuppressive, oral, anti-emetic and nebulizer drugs. The Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 requires Medicare suppliers to accept assignment on Medicare-covered drugs.
I lost my Medicare card. How do I get a new one?
If you lose your card, contact your local Social Security office at 1-800-Medicare or visit the Medicare website immediately to get a new one.
Please protect your Medicare card just as you would a credit card. Your Medicare card in the wrong hands can be used to submit fraudulent claims.
I recently moved to another state. How do I update my address with Medicare?
To protect you and ensure your receipt of your benefits, please let your Social Security office know that your address has changed.
The number for the Social Security Administration is 1-800-772-1213.
Office of Personnel Management
Travel to a Foreign Country
Before visiting a foreign country, you should ensure that all your travel concerns are addressed. For valuable information, please go to the following website: www.travel.state.gov
How can I get information on jobs with the Postal Service?
The Postal Service often has openings throughout the country.
Where is the Closest Post Office?
Although it is possible to order stamps and do other postal functions on-line, there are still some times when you have to visit a Post Office. For example, Post Offices still serve as a registration point for Selective Service and many major Post Offices in larger communities handle Passport applications.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration handles several important federal programs. Many contact me each month with questions about their retirement, Medicare, and their applications for disability benefits. Here are a few of the most common questions my office receives that deal with this agency:
How long does it take to process Social Security Disability claims?
An application for Social Security Disability can take from 6 weeks to several years to handle, depending on a variety of factors.
The times below are merely estimates, but represent what people in the 6th District have experienced over the past few years:
- Initial Processing - 8 to 12 weeks
Some cases are approved in this first step. If your case is denied at this level, you are encouraged to apply for Reconsideration.
- Reconsideration - 8 to 12 weeks
Like the Initial Processing, this is all done through paperwork. If your case is denied here, you are encouraged to request a hearing in front of an Administration Law Judge.
- Hearings and Appeals - 20-24 months
An Administrative Law Judge will hear your claim at this level. It usually takes 20 months to get a hearing. It can take a few months longer to get a decision. You may want to get an attorney or other qualified individuals to help represent you in your hearing. If you are denied at this level, you can appeal your case to the Appeals Council.
- Appeals Council - 24 to 36 months
If your claim is not approved by the Appeals Council, your only option is to file a lawsuit if you want to continue your claim.
What can the Congressman do to help with my Disability claim?
I am always happy to help constituents who need assistance with a disability claim. However, there are limits to what I can do. At my request, Social Security officials will "flag" a particular case and keep me updated throughout the process. This communication can really help a person understand what is happening with their case, so they can make other decisions regarding their life and family.
However, I cannot act as the "representative" on a person's disability paperwork. You may want an attorney to help you with this. My actions will not affect the work done by the person you select as your representative. I also do not have the authority to overturn any decision made by the Social Security Administration.
How can I get information about my Social Security retirement benefits?
Your local Social Security office can help you with this issue.
Click here to find your local Social Security office
How can I get a copy of my military records?
Most military records are stored at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri.