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Weekly Column: Here to Help

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It's an honor to represent Nebraskans in the United States Senate and legislating is an important part of my job that I take very seriously. But there is a lesser-known aspect of my job right here at home that can be an important resource for Nebraskans: helping those who need assistance with a federal agency.

Throughout my four years in the Senate, my office has assisted hundreds of Nebraskans seeking help with the federal government. Too often, the federal process can be cumbersome and confusing, which is where my office can help. My staff experts specialize in working with federal agencies, and are here to help ensure you are receiving the assistance you need.

Whether you're having problems with a visa application, obtaining veterans' benefits or receiving social security checks, my constituent services representatives are ready to help guide you in the right direction.

Earlier this year, a veteran contacted me after not being reimbursed for a trip to the emergency room that should have been covered by his veterans' health care plan. After researching laws and regulations surrounding Veterans' Affairs (VA) responsibilities of payment, we were able to ensure the gentleman was reimbursed for his bills. The issue prompted the VA to reassess its processes to prevent similar challenges for veterans in the future.

I also recently assisted an airline pilot who relies on flying for his agricultural business. He was having trouble renewing his license with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), so he sought my office out for help. In 24 hours, we were able to connect the pilot with the proper administrative staff to ensure his license was renewed in enough time that it did not interfere with his work, which could have severely hurt his business's bottom line.

Also this year, a high school senior learned his social security number had wrongfully dubbed him as deceased when he was refused a car loan and denied college scholarship applications. Without financial assistance, his dreams of enrolling in a local college to become an auto mechanic could have been shattered. Through the assistance of my office, he was able to contact the proper agencies and rectify the issue. I'm pleased that today he has both purchased a new car and is enrolled in college classes.

I don't take lightly my duties as your United States Senator, and helping Nebraskans when they experience difficulty with our federal government is extremely rewarding. I know navigating federal bureaucracies can be difficult and time consuming, and I'm happy to help in any way I can. I hope you'll consider contacting my office should you encounter a road block when dealing with a federal agency. You can reach my office at (402) 476-1400, or visit my website at www.johanns.senate.gov.


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