One of Senator Murray’s top priorities is working with the people of Washington state to get them help from federal agencies. Her office can help individuals, groups, companies, or institutions with problems or requests they may have with government agencies. For example, Senator Murray’s team can help with getting clarification on a claim with the VA, or helping a town find funding for a sewer system. Senator Murray’s office does this critical work by reaching out directly to the federal agency involved to request information and ensure timely responses and appropriate action from the federal government.
People from Washington state seeking help with a state agency can still reach out to Senator Murray’s office for assistance. Please note that when resolving issues with state agencies, it’s also a good idea to contact state senators and representatives.
Senator Murray’s office has encountered some issues more frequently than others. Below are frequently asked questions and answers that may help others navigate the challenges they’re facing.
I am continually being harassed by a collection agency concerning a student loan from years ago. I have very little income besides my Social Security and cannot afford to repay this loan. Is there any way your office could help me?
- Senator Murray’s office can send you the necessary paperwork (disability form) for the Department of Education to review and forward the completed info to our liaison with the Department of Education. The form would be reviewed before making a decision. Should the loan be forgiven, the Department of Education will in some situations refund money that was collected.
I am being contacted by the Department of Education regarding a loan I never took out?
- Senator Murray’s office can contact the Department of Education regarding your situation and ask for a detailed explanation and history including a signed promissory note. Please note these requests could take over 3 months to process because of the research involved.
How can a friend or relative find information to qualify for a visit or visa?
- Click here to use the U.S. State Department’s Visa Wizard and determine the type of visa that is appropriate for your friend or relative.
Where do I get information for immigrant visa petitions?
- Click here to visit the U.S. State Department’s Immigrant Visa Process webpage for more information.
How do I renew or replace my permanent resident card (green card)?
How can I contact a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office (national or international)?
How can I get my USCIS petition expedited?
- If there is an urgent medical or severe financial need to expedite the case, Senator Murray’s office can submit a request. If you feel that your petition warrants an expedite request, please complete the USCIS-specific Privacy Release Form and forward all relevant case numbers plus information (with supporting documentation) pertaining to the need to have the case expedited to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My associate was denied a tourist visa at a Consulate abroad. How can I find information regarding their denial?
- Senator Murray’s office can make an inquiry to the Embassy or Consulate where the denial took place. To do so, please complete Senator Murray’s Privacy Release Form that includes the full name, date of birth, passport number of the individual who was denied, and a description of the circumstance to email@example.com. Her office will forward the response from the Embassy or Consulate the same day it is received. For more information, click here to preview the State Department’s website on this topic.
My family member was interviewed at a Consulate in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa. We have not heard anything regarding her visa. Can you provide some assistance?
- Please complete Senator Murray’s Privacy Release Form and include the full name, date of birth, and USCIS case number of the individual who had an interview to firstname.lastname@example.org so her office may submit a request to the Embassy or Consulate where the individual had their interview. The response from the Embassy or Consulate will be forwarded the same day it is received.
I filed a petition to bring my family member to the United States and have not heard anything from USCIS for a long time. What is going on?
- If possible, send Senator Murray’s office a signed USCIS-specific Privacy Release Form, a copy of the receipt notice from the service center that filed your petition, along with a brief note outlining your request to email@example.com. Her office will contact the Service Center to be certain the petition is in the cue to be reviewed and ask approximately how long it will take to process. The Service Center adjudicates petitions by the priority date (when it was submitted) and is very strict about not putting one petition ahead of another.
I applied for citizenship and had my fingerprints taken, but I have not had an interview.
- Please send Senator Murray’s office a USCIS-specific Privacy Release Form to authorize the office to obtain information—including your alien and receipt numbers—to firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office will make an inquiry to the District Office or the Service Center where you applied.
Can you help me with a coverage problem I’m having with Medicare?
- Yes, Senator Murray’s office would contact the liaison through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to review your case. Any information received would be forwarded directly to you.
What do I do when my child is having problems in the military?
- Your child must request assistance from Senator Murray’s office in writing. The letter, which can be sent to email@example.com, should state their specific problem, and include their social security number and the organization they are assigned to.
How do I get a copy of my separation document (DD214), or military service records?
- Contact Senator Murray’s office that’s closes to you (click here for all office locations) and request that a military records request form be mailed to you. Complete the form and return it to the same office so it can be forwarded to the National Personnel Center (NPRC). The NPRC will respond directly to you.
I have to leave within a few days and my passport is out of date. What can I do?
- Constituents must call 1-877-487-2778, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET (M-F), to make an appointment for last-minute travel within 3 business days. Bring the required documents with you (birth certificate or previous passport or naturalization certificate, identification, two passport photos, and proof of departure). Renewal passport fees for people 16 and older are $110 for the passport book, $30 for the passport card, and $140 for a passport book and card. There is a $65 fee for constituents seeking expedited service. If you are not traveling within 14 days, you must apply at a local Passport Acceptance Facility (Post Office, Clerks of Court, or City Clerk Offices). Click here to learn more about how to make an appointment at the Passport Agency and Center page.
What is the status of my claim/appeal for Social Security benefits? I have been waiting for a long time without hearing anything from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Is there any way to know what’s going on and how much longer it will be?
- When filling out the Privacy Release Form, include all pertinent information, such as: social security number, date of birth, when you filed the claim, phone number, and an address at which you can be reached. If possible, also include copies of letters from doctors and any other supporting documents. When Senator Murray’s office receives the form and information, they will contact SSA to find out exactly where your claim currently is (i.e. with the disability ratings board, with a hearings officer, etc.). Her office may then be able to find out if SSA is waiting for medical records or supporting documents from sponsors, either of which could cause a slowdown in processing your claim.
My claim/appeal is pending with Social Security, but money is extremely tight right now and I don’t know if we can wait for the payments. Is there anything you can do to help?
- If your financial situation is very desperate, you can send copies of information that would demonstrate you are in dire need to Senator Murray’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org. This can consist of proof of rent or mortgage payments, pay stubs, or receipts of weekly or monthly bills. That information will be sent SSA, and if they determine that you qualify as a dire need situation, they may be able to expedite your claim or get critical payments for you while your claim is pending.
I know my claim/appeal is pending with Social Security, but how will I know when a decision has been made?
- The SSA will notify you by mail as soon as a decision is made on your claim. The decision letter will explain how and why they came to their decision and will outline your appeal rights should you disagree with their decision. If you haven’t received a decision or a response from the SSA in the time frame they gave you, contact Senator Murray’s office so they can contact SAA to see why you have not received a response.
My social security payments are different this month than last month. SSA sent me a letter stating I had an overpayment and that my payments were going to be reduced until the overpayment was repaid. How/why did this happen?
- Senator Murray’s office can contact SSA and ask for a specific accounting of exactly when and how much you were overpaid, when your payments will return to normal, and if the amount of your regular monthly payments will change after the overpayment is repaid. This can sometimes happen if SSA discovers that you were receiving worker’s compensation, veterans benefits, or another form of compensation or income while you were receiving social security payments.
I disagree with the SSA’s decision on my claim. How can I appeal?
- Click here to find and contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213.
How can I contact SSA or find an office near my residence?
Where can I apply for Social Security Benefits online?
What is the status of my VA claim/appeal? I have been waiting to be assigned to a primary care provider for a long time, and I haven’t heard anything from the VA. What’s taking so long?
- When filling out the Privacy Release Form, include all pertinent information, such as: Social Security number, date of birth, when you filed the claim, VA claim number, and a phone number and address where you can be reached. It is also helpful to include any doctor’s letters or supporting documents that pertain to your claim. Senator Murray’s office can contact the VA Regional Office that is processing your claim and find out exactly where your claim is in the process (i.e. with the disability ratings board or the appeals board), or if the VA is waiting on other information that may be holding up the processing of your claim (i.e. waiting for the results of your exam, waiting for your medical or service records or waiting for supporting documents of sponsors). Once the VA has all of the information they need to make an informed decision, Senator Murray’s office may be able to determine how long it will be before a decision is made on your claim.
How can you help me with my earned VA benefits?
- Senator Murray’s office can make an inquiry to the VA on your behalf to ensure that your case is being processed in a timely manner according to VA regulation. Her office cannot represent you before the VA or assist in the development process of any claims; that is the function of a veterans service organization.
I have been waiting to be assigned to a primary care provider for over a year now and the VA told me it could be another six months before I get assigned to a doctor. What could possibly be taking so long?
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related backlog and Patient-Centered Community Care (PC3) to the Community Care Network (CCN) transition, request for care from the VA remains to be much greater than the VA can accommodate and therefore veterans are having to wait for long periods of time to be assigned a primary care provider. If you would like a more detailed response from the VA, please contact Senator Murray’s office to make an inquiry to the VA for a response to your specific situation.
United States Senate Privacy Release Form
Senator Murray’s office must have a written request for assistance from the individual, group, company, or institution being helped. A federal agency cannot provide information about a case without written authorization.
Please fill out and submit the below request for assistance. After you do so, someone from Senator Murray’s team will follow up to receive your Privacy Release Form. Pursuant to Public Law 93-579, the Privacy Act of 1974, our office cannot assist individuals without their express written consent.
Request for Assistance
Please fill out the below form so that the office of Senator Murray can assist you in the matter you describe below.