Constituent Service Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can only residents of the 9th District receive assistance?

A. Yes. Congressional courtesy dictates that each Member of Congress has the honor and responsibility to serve his or her own constituents. You may also choose to contact Michigan's Senators, who represent every person in the state regardless of Congressional District.

Q. How do I know if I live in the 9th District?

A. If you aren't sure which Congressional district you live in, please visit the House of Representatives homepage, and enter your zip code with the last four digits to determine who your representative is. If you do not know the last four digits of your zip code, please visit the Postal Service website at to find out.

Q. What type of assistance is available?

A. My office can serve as a liaison between you and a federal agency. The role of my office when assisting constituents with federal agencies is to make inquiries on your behalf with the respective agencies regarding your situation. This includes: finding out the status of a case, requesting additional information, and requesting an expedited response or decision. Please visit my Assistance with Federal Agencies page for more information.

Q. What happens after I send in a privacy release?

A. Once your privacy release is received by my district office, a member of my staff will contact the appropriate federal agency with your request for assistance. My staff will follow-up with you via a letter or phone call indicating any inquires being made on your behalf.

Q. Who will be able to see the information I provide on my privacy release?

A. The privacy release authorizes myself, my staff and any federal agency staff who is handling the inquiry to review the information provided.

Q. Approximately how long will it take for me to receive assistance?

A. Different agencies have different guidelines and timeframes in which they must reply to Congressional inquiries. While some matters can be resolved quickly, other agencies take much longer to respond due to the volume of cases they receive.

Q. Can I receive assistance with a state, local government or legal issue?

A. No. As a federal legislator I only have jurisdiction over matters dealing with federal agencies. For your convenience, I have created a list of non-federal agency contacts for situation's I cannot help with.

Q. Is there any temporary support available through the federal government while I am waiting to resolve my case?

A. No. There are no federal funded temporary assistance programs available. You may contact the State of Michigan's Department of Human Services for information on temporary assistance programs. My staff can also try to direct you to any available resources.

Q. What if I am not satisfied with the response provided to me?

A. If you are not satisfied with a federal agencies response or decision, some agencies allow you to appeal the decision. It is important to note, that my office does not have any decision making authority, and the respective agencies have complete discretion concerning decisions on individual cases.

Q. Can I speak with someone from a federal agency directly?

A. You may contact a federal agency on your own. Most federal agencies have toll-free customer service numbers available to the public. The agencies also have established special contacts called Congressional Liaison's, which handle Congressional inquiries and are available only to Congressional staff.