Navigating the layers of federal government

Published 2:24 pm Friday, August 26, 2016

To the Editor:

Over the last two years, I’ve had the honor of representing Beaufort County and the state of North Carolina in the United States Senate. I’ve worked to help advance commonsense, bipartisan initiatives, including reforming the VA, supporting military families, confronting the growing opioid and heroin epidemic in our communities and pursuing legislation that makes it easier for North Carolina’s small businesses to create good-paying jobs and grow our economy.

With that said, the most important work I do as your senator is done back home in North Carolina. Since the day I was elected, my No. 1 priority has been establishing a dedicated and experienced constituent services team that is always ready and willing to serve the needs of North Carolinians. The constituent advocates in my five field offices across the state have more than 100 years of combined prior experience serving North Carolina constituents.

In the span of less than two years, my office has closed thousands of cases for North Carolinians, and we have processed and responded to hundreds of thousands of emails and letters from constituents about important policy issues. When it comes to assisting constituents, we’ve helped resolve a wide range of federal issues, from helping seniors get timely responses from the Social Security Administration to expediting last-minute passport renewals to ensuring veterans get appointments at VA providers and receive the VA benefits they need and deserve.

The one regret I’ve repeatedly heard from North Carolinians who have reached out to my office is that they simply wish they knew about the constituent services we offer sooner. All too often, people make endless phone calls to a federal agency that go nowhere, sometimes for months or even years. Navigating through layers upon layers of government bureaucracy can be daunting and stressful, especially when someone’s health or financial livelihood is at stake.

That is where my office comes in. We want to hear your story and help in any way we can. In many cases, my office can serve as your personal advocate by making the phones calls for you, cutting through the red tape and directly corresponding with the federal government on your behalf.

My office has already been working to serve constituents in Beaufort County, including recently helping a veteran obtain a complete copy of his military record in order to receive healthcare services at the VA. Once the veteran reached out to my Greenville office, my staff immediately contacted the National Personnel Records Center and was able to locate the records the veteran needed. My staff then notified the VA, which assisted the veteran and scheduled his follow-up appointment with a doctor.

This is just one of the many cases my office has closed for local residents, and my staff stands ready to assist you as well.

If you or a family member is having difficulty with any federal agency and you’re not receiving the answers you need, make sure the next call you make is to my regional field office in Greenville at 252-329-0371, or visit my website at

I look forward to hearing from you.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC)