I am dedicated to ensuring that the federal government works for my constituents in TX-22. If you can’t get an answer from a federal agency in a timely fashion, or if you feel you have been treated unfairly, our office may be able to help resolve a problem or get you the information you need. While we cannot guarantee you a favorable outcome, we will do our best to help you receive a fair and timely response to your problem.
If you need assistance in dealing with a Federal agency, please include all pertinent information and claim numbers in your correspondence—such as:
- Your Social Security number for a case involving Social Security;
- VA claim number for a case with Department of Veterans Affairs;
- Taxpayer identification number (Social Security number, if individual) for an Internal Revenue Service problem, etc.;
- Your address, home phone number and daytime phone number (if different than home) so that we can obtain any additional information from you that might be necessary;
- Copies of any related documents or correspondence that you may have from the agency involved;
The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a) requires that Members of Congress or their staff have written authorization before they can obtain information about an individual’s case.
We must have your signature to proceed with this type of request.
Social Security Administration
Common areas of assistance include Social Security retirement, Medicare enrollment, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI and SSI are both types of disability benefits with different eligibility criteria.
Social Security is part of the retirement plan for almost every American worker. It provides replacement income for qualified retirees and their families. Click here to learn more.
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure.
The program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You have choices for how you get Medicare coverage. If you choose to have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage, you can buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private insurance company.
For more information click here.
Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.
For more information on both programs click here.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Common areas of assistance include VA healthcare issues and veteran disability benefits.
With VA health care, you’re covered for regular checkups with your primary care provider and appointments with specialists (like cardiologists, gynecologists, and mental health providers). You can access Veterans health care services like home health and geriatric (elder) care, and you can get medical equipment, prosthetics, and prescriptions. Find out how to apply for and manage the health care benefits you’ve earned by clicking here.
VA disability compensation (pay) offers a monthly tax-free payment to Veterans who got sick or injured while serving in the military and to Veterans whose service made an existing condition worse. You may qualify for VA disability benefits for physical conditions (like a chronic illness or injury) and mental health conditions (like PTSD) that developed before, during, or after service. Find out how to apply for and manage the Veterans disability benefits you’ve earned by clicking here.
Internal Revenue Service
Common areas of assistance include tax returns and tax refunds.
A tax return is a form or forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service that reports income, expenses, and other pertinent tax information. Tax returns allow taxpayers to calculate their tax liability, schedule tax payments, or request refunds for the overpayment of taxes. The IRS is currently working through a significant backlog of 2020 electronically filed returns needing review prior to being processed. Click here to check the status of your return.
Economic Impact Payments
Economic Impact Payments are funds to help people during the coronavirus pandemic. If you didn’t get the full amount of the first or second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return even if you don’t normally file. The third Economic Impact Payment will not be used to calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Click here to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. For questions and answers about the third Economic Impact Payment click here. Check your payment status in the Get My Payment tool here.
Child Tax Credit Advance Payments
Important changes to the Child Tax Credit will help many families get advance payments of the credit starting this summer. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments beginning July 15. You will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. These changes apply to tax year 2021 only. For more information, to manage payments, or to submit your payment information to receive the advance CTC click here.
Department of State
Before visiting a foreign country, you should ensure that all your travel concerns are addressed. Here are a few of the most common questions my office receives that deal with passports:
How can I renew my existing passport?
If you already have a passport that is not damaged, was issued in the past 15 years, was received after your 16th birthday, and has your same name, you can apply for a passport renewal by mail.
For more information on renewing your passport, visit the Passport Renewal Page at the U.S. Consular Affairs Web Site.
I can’t wait for the normal six-week processing time for my application. Can I request an expedite?
Yes. For an additional fee, you can request expedited processing which normally takes two weeks.
For more information on expediting processing, visit the Expedited Service Page at the U.S. Consular Affairs Web Site.
Department of Homeland Security
How can I find out the status of my USCIS paperwork?
- The first place to check is on any receipt notice you may have received from the USCIS. On that form there may be an estimated time of how long it will take to process the type of paperwork you filed. You should usually wait until that estimated time has passed before inquiring further. USCIS officials and my office are typically unable to check on any paperwork that is still within the normal processing time. If, however, you have a life or death emergency during this time that involves your USCIS paperwork, please contact my office as soon as possible.
- If the normal processing time has passed, you may contact my office and my aide will be glad to assist you by making an inquiry about your application to USCIS. If there is a problem with your application, contacting one of my Congressional liaisons at USCIS should allow me to determine where the problem lies and what necessary steps should be taken in order to solve the problem. If there is not a problem with your application, then this office will at least be able to assure you that it has not been forgotten, and that any delay may simply be the result of an increase in USCIS’s work load.
- The USCIS website is very convenient and easy to navigate. Many of your general questions or concerns regarding applications and standard immigration procedures may be found there. However, you are always welcome to contact my office if you would prefer to actually speak with someone about those questions and concerns. My staff is always glad to assist you in any way they can.
*Because of federal privacy laws, I will need your written permission to help you with your INS paperwork.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The USCIS website has information on every type of form, addresses for USCIS offices, information on fee changes, and a place to order forms online or through the mail.
The USCIS automated information line is available 24 hours a day. The number is: 1-800-767-1833.
If you have an emergency, or can’t get the help you need from these resources, I might be able to help. However, I will need your written permission to help with most USCIS matters. You can download my authorization form from above and fax it or mail it to my office.
Small Business Administration
Common areas of assistance include entrepreneurial resources and loan programs.
The SBA has many programs to assist with economic losses related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ended on May 31, 2021. Existing borrowers may be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.
The Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) provides funding to small businesses and non-profit organizations currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue related to COVID-19, and an advance is available to applicants in designated low income areas hit hard by the pandemic, please check the map here to ensure you are in a designated low income area.
The Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) provides emergency assistance for eligible venues that were forced to close due to the pandemic. Other programs can be found at this page here, such as the SVOG, which provides emergency assistance for eligible venues that were forced to close due to the pandemic.
The Restaurant Revitalization Fund program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The SBA has many loans you can apply for, such as 7(a) Loans, 504 Loans, and Microloans. 7(a) Loans is the most common loan program at the SBA. These loans are designed to help small businesses with the purchasing of real estate, short- and long-term working capital, refinancing current business debt, and various other purposes for eligible businesses. 504 loans offer long-term, fixed-rate financing to purchase or repair real estate, equipment, machinery or other assets for eligible businesses. Microloans provide loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. You can find more information on other loan types and even match with a lender here.
United States Postal Service
Common areas of assistance include mail delivery and postal facility issues.
USPS Tracking Lookup can help you identify the location of your package or envelope that includes a tracking number. You can find your tracking number on your shipping receipt, sales receipt (if you bought insurance at the Post Office), email confirmation, shipping confirmation, and the bottom peel-off portion of your USPS Tracking label. If you believe that you package or mail is lost, please follow these steps.
Postal Facilities and PO Boxes
The U.S. Postal Service offers services at many locations in addition to your local post office. You can search for all of these locations by clicking here.
If you need assistance with reserving or renewing a PO box, please click here.
Changing an Address
If you, your family, or your business is moving, you can change your address online through the United States Postal Service website by clicking here. The website will ask questions including the new mailing address, the start date that you would like to begin receiving your mail at the new location, and what type of move it is.
All Other Agencies
Click here to get help with any other agency that isn’t listed above.