Courtney Announces More Than $2.2 Million Saved For Constituents In 2016
NORWICH, CT —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released 2016 totals showing that constituent casework performed by his office this year saved or returned $2,208,482 to eastern Connecticut residents. Courtney’s office helped residents recover funds or benefits owed to them by resolving issues such as disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), complications with Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, and helping to secure mortgage modifications, as well as issues with other federal agencies.
“One of the top priorities for my staff and I is to work one-on-one with constituents who struggle with federal agencies,” said Courtney. “Almost every day we hear from a local resident who faces a crisis in their life because government red tape prevents them from receiving their hard-earned benefits. Whether we are helping to secure retroactive benefits for a retired veteran, or helping a young family obtain a mortgage modification, each of these cases is about more than a dollar figure – they are real people trying to make ends meet, and I am proud that we are able to help make that happen.”
“I urge any eastern Connecticut resident facing difficulty when working with the federal government to contact my office to see if we can be of assistance.”
To highlight some of these cases, Courtney’s office invited some constituents to discuss their experiences in a video, linked below. Their cases contributed to the overall savings total of more than $2.2 million.
The featured constituents are:
Megan Christmas of Enfield, who applied for Social Security Disability in May of 2016. She was denied at both the initial and reconsideration levels. The family was forced to file bankruptcy. Once she filed for a hearing, we appealed to the hearing office to note the dire need and pointed out while she had insurance, she also had three young children and this family could lose their home. The judge was able to make a decision on the record with no hearing necessary.
Susan Gorra-Heinemann of New London, who had experienced financial troubles and was attempting to get a mortgage modification for her home. After a four-hour phone call with her loan servicer from one of our caseworkers, who refused to end the call until he was forwarded to the government relations office, we were able to get her documents processed. Ms. Heinemann was able to submit her application and was approved for a significantly lower mortgage loan rate. In total, she will be saving over $22,000.
Anthony “Nino” Pellegrino of Mystic, a veteran who was told by Defense Finance and Accounting Service that he did not have enough active duty time served to continue receiving his retirement pay. We contacted Navy Personnel Command 312 and DFAS, and were able to get his retirement pay corrected and accrued benefits received. He saved $18,000 as a result.
Total savings for Second District constituents in 2016: $2,208,482
• Social Security and Health and Human Services benefits: $1,175,014
• Veterans Administration: $533,269
• Housing: $303,194
• IRS: $97,198
• Education: $46,942
Congressman Courtney’s office can assist constituents with a range of issues including: Social Security benefits, Medicare coverage, veterans’ benefits, immigration/visas, passports, loan modifications, requests for flags and commendations, service academy nominations, and more.
He has two offices in eastern Connecticut:
Norwich District Office: 860-886-0139
55 Main St., Suite 250
Norwich, CT 06360
Enfield District Office: 860-741-6011
77 Hazard Ave, Unit J
Enfield, CT 06082