Congressional Assistance with a Federal Agency
If you a constituent having a problem with a federal agency, our office may be able to assist you. There are many areas in which we can be of assistance. These include, but are not limited to:
- U.S. passports/ State Department issues
- U.S. immigration
- Social Security
- Medicare/ Medicaid
- Military benefits
- Veterans benefits
- Federal taxes
- Federal housing issues
- Federal retiree benefits
- Federal workers’ compensation
- U.S. Postal Service issues
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/ Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) assistance
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues
- Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issues
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issues
To find out more about how we can help, you should first contact our office for further information. A caseworker will evaluate your situation and, if necessary, instruct you on how to fill out a privacy waiver requesting casework.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which issues need to be referred to other non-federal entities?
- Legal matters (see more below)
- Prison/Requests- Our office can refer the request to Pardons and Paroles but we are not able to endorse the request. Generally, we can only send those requests that have to do with health and welfare issues. Those requesting to be moved to another facility can be reviewed on case by case basis.
- School Board- These issues are referred to the School Principal, School Superintendent, School Board, or State Superintendent.
- Section 8/GRAFA Housing – Our office cannot get anyone a voucher or on the list for one, they must call to get on the list once the area has opened.
- City/County/State Issues – Must referred to appropriate local officials
- Rent or Utilities Assistance– Congressional offices do not have funding for these issues. Depending on the situation, the constituent may need to call the Utility Company.
- Private Employment Issues- Georgia is an “At Will State”, we do not have jurisdiction with Employer/Employee Issues – You will need to contact DOL to file appeals.
What can Congressman Bishop do?
Our office is available to assist in any matters that fall under my jurisdiction as a federal representative. That means the issue must lie with a federal agency or with some entity regulated by a federal agency. If a constituent is having difficulty with a state or municipal matter, our office must refer them to the appropriate local contacts. If they are unsure of whether their issue is a federal issue, they can contact us.
Our office may be helpful in any situation where a federal agency:
- has not done what it is supposed to do
- has made errors without correcting them
- has not responded to a constituent
- has not given a constituent clear information
When can Congressman Bishop help?
It is important for a constituent to request Congressional assistance only after they have attempted to resolve their issue on their own. In most circumstances, a federal agency will be able to assist without our intervention. For a complete list of federal agencies and their contact information, visit USA.gov or contact one of the offices.
It is also important to consider federal agency’s standard processing times. Except in cases of significant hardship, Congressional assistance is not a means of expediting a case or bypassing an agency’s established procedures.
Must I be a resident of the Second Congressional District?
Yes. Members of Congress are prevented from assisting constituents residing outside their Congressional District. As a matter of both professional courtesy and Congressional ethics, it is important that Representatives have the opportunity to assist the constituents they are elected to represent. Additionally, each Congressional office is allotted a limited amount of resources. These resources are intended for use in the service of constituents, and it is important that be used as intended.
If you need to find your Congressional Representative, visit House.gov.
Should I ask a Senator for help as well?
Yes, but only one Congressional Office can help.
What is the process after I request assistance?
If you require assistance with a federal agency, you should first contact my office for further information. A caseworker will discuss your situation and, if necessary, instruct you on how to fill out a privacy waiver requesting casework.
After you have submitted a signed privacy waiver and copies of any documentation relevant to your case, my office will start by contacting the appropriate federal agency. Each federal agency is staffed with a Congressional Liaison responsible for answering requests from Members of Congress.
Depending on the agency and the nature of your case, a resolution may take as little as a week or as long as several months. My office will keep you updated on the progress of your case. You are also encouraged to remain in contact with your caseworker if you have any questions or new information to provide.
Can Congressman Bishop guarantee a response in my favor?
No. Every case before a federal agency must be judged equally and impartially, and no Member of Congress can request that an agency reach a specific decision on behalf of a constituent. Decisions must always be made on the merits of the case. However, in circumstances where an agency may have made errors, lost or overlooked information, or misunderstood evidence, my office may be able to assist in seeking a rightful resolution based on the merits.
It is important to remember that Congressional intervention is never a guarantee of a favorable outcome.
Can Congressman Bishop help resolve a legal dispute?
No. Members of Congress are prohibited from becoming involved in legal matters, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Judicial Branch. My office is also unable to recommend legal counsel. You should bear in mind that dissatisfaction with the outcome of a legal case is not in itself grounds for an allegation of misconduct.
Why is a privacy waiver required?
The Privacy Act of 1974 requires that my office obtain your formal, written authorization before receiving access to your personal information. For more information about the Privacy Act of 1974, visit the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/opcl/privacyact1974.htm.
Residents of the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia can contact my office for assistance in dealing with Federal agencies. In order to better serve you, please have the following information readily available when working with a member of my constituent services team.
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. Should my office proceed with your case, you will be asked to fill-out and sign a privacy form before proceeding with your request.