By Representative Adrian Smith
The most fulfilling aspect about representing the people of Nebraska's Third District is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of my constituents. Through casework and timely constituent services, my staff in Nebraska and Washington assist individuals on a daily basis who are trying to maneuver through the federal bureaucracy.
Dealing with the IRS can be one of the most aggravating experiences one can face. It is common for many people to have their tax refunds delayed and their payments improperly credited. For hardworking taxpayers in Nebraska, resolving these types of issues can be a long and difficult process.
One example which comes to mind is of a constituent who had been battling the IRS for many years over 1099 form filings. The IRS had been withholding significant civil penalties. After extensive work with the IRS, my office was able to help provide the correct documentation, eventually leading to all penalties being dropped and the business being issued a refund.
One of the reasons I created the Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus was to bring to light the many issues faced by those who wore the uniform yet run into so many problems attaining the benefits they were promised. Often times, veterans have difficulties obtaining educational benefits, while surviving spouses need help gaining access to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
I recently had the privilege of helping a World War II veteran who came to the United States with his mother when he was two years old. He had enlisted in the military but was always unsure of his citizenship. I was contacted to help provide clarity to the matter. After filing for a citizenship certificate, this member of the Greatest Generation was finally able to officially become a part of the country he long ago risked his life to defend.
In addition to individual assistance, I am pleased to help your county and local officials. The flooding in 2011 caused incredible damage to local infrastructure, damage for which counties and municipalities sought federal aid. These entities put their trust into receiving federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but unfortunately do not always obtain it in a timely manner. For instance, just this year I was able to assist a local entity in obtaining disaster assistance from FEMA for damages from 2006.
If you or someone you know requires assistance in dealing with the federal government - from disaster aid, to taxes, to citizenship clarification, to passports - or if you just want help planning an upcoming visit to Washington, DC, always feel free to contact any of my offices. In addition, my staff regularly holds "mobile offices" across the Third District. These forums are open to the public and allow you to meet directly with one of my staff members about federal issues and how to take advantage of the constituent services available through my office. To see if we're coming to a town near you, be sure to check my website, http://adriansmith.house.gov, or your local paper.
Providing true public service is one reason I became involved in politics. At the end of the day, serving in government is about people. Navigating your way around the red tape can be confusing and sometimes downright frustrating. I stand ready to assist in any way I can, so feel free to give any of my offices a call, connect on my website, or drop by my offices in Scottsbluff or Grand Island.