By the Numbers: Rep. Houlahan’s Office Returns $27 Million in Backlogged and Disputed Benefits

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WEST CHESTER, PA — Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) recently announced that her office has returned over $27 million in backlogged or disputed benefits to constituents and is nearing the 5,000 mark for closed constituent services cases.

“As an entrepreneur and engineer, it’s important to me that my office is customer service oriented and data-driven,” said Houlahan. “When I first took office, I tasked my team with returning more in federal funding to our community than it cost to run our office and conducting regular customer service surveys to identify what we’re doing well and where we can improve. I’m pleased to see the positive impact both efforts are having. Although the good and bad news from Washington is what most often makes headlines, serving my community in this way is one of the most gratifying components of this work.”

The Congressional services that most often result in federal funds being returned to constituents include resolving disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and benefits claims with the Veterans Affairs Department and the Social Security Administration. Other services include helping with passports, postal service issues, visas and naturalization processing, replacement medals, and facilitating tours of the White House and U.S. Capitol Building. The office also provides internships for local students, submits nominations for those wishing to attend one of our nation’s military service academies, and can fly a flag over the U.S. Capitol in honor or recognition of someone.

Houlahan’s office regularly seeks input from constituents who have contacted her office for help. A selection of input from closed cases is included below:

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From Veronica Murphy, Coatesville: “I am a senior, living on Social Security, and I inadvertently overpaid $600 on my 2019 Federal Income Tax Return. I filed an Amended Return, but never received the money back. I was very frustrated with my attempts to call the IRS and reached out to Representative Chrissy Houlahan for assistance. I periodically received updates from her office that her staff was working on my problem, so I knew they didn’t forget about me. Yesterday, I received an email saying they had resolved the issue and I would be receiving my money, plus interest!”

From R Shipman, Kennett Square: “I needed help finding a package lost in the postal system. The assistance I received was nothing short of superb.”

From Atef El Hendawy, West Chester: “I needed help with my wife’s passport. My wife had to leave the country on an emergency trip, and she couldn’t get an appointment anywhere, until I reached the office of Chrissy Houlahan. They responded very fast and in just two days got me an appointment. I really appreciate everything they did.”

From Dalen Keys, Landenberg: “I applied for Social Security and Medicare, but it had been over two months and I had not heard anything. My retiree medical coverage was going to expire, and I was afraid I would not be covered. I had tried to reach people through the phone numbers given but had not been successful with very long “on-hold” times. Within two weeks of my contact with the office, the matter was resolved. The service was highly responsive with excellent communications on what was occurring.”

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From John Hughes, III, Coatesville: “I was unable to retrieve my DD214 after several months, and in need of the document for services due to homelessness. My social worker at VMC reached out to your office seeking guidance to obtain my DD214, after several attempts failed using standard protocol. Rep. Houlahan’s staffer responded immediately to our request. He checked in and followed up, giving us the status, letting us know that he was actively working to assist us in retrieving the DD214. It was not long after that we received the needed documentation.”

From RuthAnn Gerald, West Chester: “I was approved for the Emergency Rental Assistance program and was having an issue with getting the check released to my leasing office; they were ready to contact their lawyers for being in arrears with rent. I am very grateful for the assistance Rep. Houlahan’s staffer gave me in resolving this issue. He was very understanding and empathetic to my situation and stayed on top of the situation with me.”

From Mohankumar Subramani, West Chester: “We experienced a delay in processing naturalization for me and my spouse after we submitted the necessary documents in April 2020, had our biometrics in January 2021, and then no further movement in our application. We reached out to Chrissy’s office in April, she appointed an advocate to inquire about my case, and after two follow-ups from Chrissy’s staff, my case was prioritized and we received an interview letter within a month.”

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