Highlights from 2021: Delivering for Wisconsin’s Fourth Congressional District

2021 has been a year full of victories and challenges for the constituents of the 4th Congressional District. This year has shown the resilience and strength of Milwaukee communities through the pandemic.

As the representative of Wisconsin’s Congressional Fourth District, I, along with my staff are working hard to serve each of you. Our district office can assist constituents with federal matters, such as VA benefits, Social Security payments, and immigration matters. Staff at our office are trained to handle various matters involving federal agencies and have been able to assist constituents, which has brought relief during often stressful and time-consuming situations. Based on estimates, staff from my office have been able to recover more than 2 million dollars for constituents, with payouts for the Veterans Administration amounting to $680,000, payouts to the Small Business Administration estimated at $1,200,000, and payouts from the Internal Revenue Service projected at $230,000. We are proud of what we have accomplished this year and will continue helping meet important needs in the Fourth District. I wanted to highlight some of the successful cases we have been able to resolve for constituents, ranging from securing VA benefits to disability backpay.

Helping Veterans Get the Assistance They Need

  • A veteran applied for a motorized mobility device (scooter) at the VA based on unwritten advice from his primary care doctor. This claim then ended up in a remand loop due to the inability to contact the doctor because they transferred jobs. When faced with delays and difficulties, persistence paid off. Later, our office was notified that the VA has approved providing the veteran with a scooter. Now, this veteran is now able to travel more with his family.
  • The daughter of a veteran called our office with a request for assistance on a service-connected disability claim for her father. Our office assisted her and her father with their case and ensured that paperwork requested by the VA was filed by the constituent in a timely manner, as well as providing updates along the way. Nearly one year after this veteran’s daughter first contacted our office, we received notification that his service-connected claim had been granted and back dated to 2006. This resulted in a back payment being issued for those 15 years, which our office estimates to have been around $500,000. This will help his family with his care for many years to come.

Helping Constituents Access Social Security Benefits

  • A constituent awarded nearly $22, 000 in retroactive spousal benefits after 2016 misunderstanding. In 2016, a representative at SSA told her she would not be eligible for spousal benefits despite meeting onset date requirements. She was still told no, she would never qualify. After turning her retirement age constituent received a letter from the SSA in 2021 offering her the very spousal benefit she inquired about years prior. She later received monthly benefits without further issues.

Securing SSA Spousal Benefits  

  • After becoming suddenly unemployed, the constituent filed for deceased spouse’s survivor benefits, but eventually found a job and wanted to cancel benefit request. By the time cancel request was processed, SSA already deposited monetary benefits. Tax records showed she received three months of Social Security Income, so she refunded the money to the SSA, and our office sent a congressional inquiry to program center to resolve the matter. After facing barriers related to the pandemic and resolving other payment issues, our staff was able to connect the constituent with the appropriate office within the SSA and she was able to resolve this issue and pay her case over the phone.

Ensuring Constituents Receive Disability Backpay

  • A constituent contacted our office because it was decided by a federal remand from a judge that she was entitled to disability backpay. Our office discovered constituent did not receive notices from the SSA because she has not reported her recent move. Our office’s caseworker was able to remedy this problem and SSA released all past Supplemental Security Income payments due. As a result of our office’s efforts, we were able to recover more than $15,000 in backpay for the constituent.

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