During the first 100 days of Rep. Barber’s first full term in office, he and his constituent services team recovered more than $4 million for Southern Arizonans who have sought assistance from his office.
“One of the most important responsibilities of any member of Congress is helping constituents deal with the federal government,” Barber said. “I am proud to make serving this community the top priority of my office and of my team of constituent services representatives. It’s our job to be your voice when you aren’t being heard, to cut through the red tape and do our best to get you a response.”
During the first 100 days of the 113th Congress, 591 people have come to Barber’s two offices in Southern Arizona seeking assistance.
Requests for help come from veterans and active-duty military, seniors with issues related to Social Security and Medicare benefits and families seeking to refinance their mortgages. There also are numerous requests for assistance with passports, visas, tax returns and foreign travel problems.
Some issues can be resolved relatively quickly. But others, depending on the complexity of the issue and the agencies involved, can take months or even years.
In just the first 100 days of this Congress, Barber’s five constituent services representatives have helped constituents recover $4,070,567.38 that was due to them by the federal government.
One of the individuals helped was Shannon Lee Dominguez, a disabled Navy Veteran. Barber’s constituent service representative Ryan Pont assisted Dominguez in getting her home loan modified and ensured that the VA perform a necessary surgery in a timely manner.
Dominquez wrote to Barber about Ryan, saying “Ryan saved our home, our dignity and made believers out of us that anything can be accomplished no matter how insurmountable the odds.”
The names of those who ask Barber’s office for assistance as well as the details of their issue are kept confidential, but Dominguez gave permission for her name and story to be used to illustrate the type of assistance available to Southern Arizonans though Barber’s office.
Among the many other people whom Barber’s staff has helped in the first 100 days of this Congress:
· A 62-year-old retired federal employee attempted to reduce his life insurance coverage. Two federal agencies disputed who should handle the issue. After Barber’s office became involved, the issue was resolved and he was issued a $9,181 refund.
· A 64-year-old woman who survived brain tumors was delinquent on her mortgage. She also had debts which prevented her from receiving assistance from her bank or the state. After reviewing her finances, a constituent services representative discovered she had student loan payments. The office worked with the Department of Education to have the loans discharged within three weeks due to total and permanent disability. After the loans were discharged, Barber’s office secured a loan modification on the day of her foreclosure. She now is financially secure and still in her home.
· A 47-year-old disabled veteran had been denied any mortgage assistance from her bank. Barber’s office was able to work with the bank to offer her a loan modification which reduced her monthly mortgage payment.
Constituent services are available at Barber’s offices in Tucson and Sierra Vista from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Tucson office is at 3945 E. Fort Lowell Road, Suite 211 and can be reached at 520-881-3588. The Sierra Vista office is at 77 Calle Portal, Suite B-160 and can be reached at 520-459-3115.