Casework Success Stories
All Rhode Islanders deserve a government that is smart, effective and knows how to get things done for the people it serves. Elected officials should engage the public, provide information about available resources, and help cut through bureaucratic red tape to deliver results.
Congressman Cicilline’s office includes full-time caseworkers who worked to resolve more than 1,400 requests for assistance with federal agencies from constituents over the past year. These requests included help with Social Security benefits, IRS tax refunds, and life-saving medical treatment.
After World War II-veteran Eugene Bessette passed away, his wife, Josephine, reached out to Congressman Cicilline to request assistance obtaining the medals Eugene had earned during his service in the Pacific Campaign. As a Navy cook who also manned an anti-aircraft gun, Eugene earned five medals including the World War II victory Medal, a Combat Action ribbon, and an Honorable Service lapel pin. Josephine said she wanted to give the medals to Eugene’s children to ensure they know they understood and would always remember their father’s service. Congressman Cicilline was able to facilitate Josephine’s request for the medals, and in December, he presented them to her. You can watch a video of the presentation here.
When Ernest Dumont of Woonsocket died, his wife, Susan Dumont, was entitled to receive his Social Security spousal benefit, which she had applied for but was being delayed. In need of support, Susan contacted Congressman Cicilline’s office to have her case expedited through the payment center. Due to the particular circumstances of Susan’s claim, Congressman Cicilline’s office was able to facilitate the processing of her claim. Within a short time, Susan received all of her overdue payments and began to receive monthly retirement benefits.
Bob Picard was a surgical tech in the Navy and then a medic with the Marines during the Cuban Crises of 1962, serving as part of the blockade that helped prevent an escalation in that nuclear standoff. Bob served honorably and finished his term in the Reserves, but despite his honorable service, he never received the recognitions that he earned during his time in uniform. In his three years of service, Bob earned the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a Discharge Button. After this matter came to the attention of Congressman Cicilline, he was able to secure these three recognitions for him. Congressman Cicilline presented him his long-overdue medals at the Woonsocket Senior Center’s Annual Veterans Day Celebration.
The Leon Mathieu Senior Center in Pawtucket was using a single shuttle van to provide transportation to seniors at the center who required help reaching the grocery store, the pharmacy, doctor’s appointments and a wide variety of other venues. When Congressman Cicilline learned that the Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority had a surplus shuttle van program, he quickly informed the Leon Mathieu Center, urged them to apply and worked closely with them through the process. He advocated directly with RIPTA and eventually secured a new shuttle van. During the summer of 2016, the Leon Mathieu Senior Center received a new shuttle van the same week that their old van broke down and required extensive maintenance. Thanks to the new shuttle van, no seniors were forced to go without transportation in the summer heat.
Trudy Willis reached out to the office to resolve a mistaken charge of several thousand dollars from the Social Security Administration. Suspended from her Social Security payments and warned she was at risk losing Medicare, Trudy required quick action as she had a medical procedure on the horizon and couldn't afford the co-pay out of pocket. After unsuccessful efforts to resolve the issue on her own, our office was able to ensure proper attention was directed to her case. Soon thereafter, Trudy received a check in the mail refunding all her missed Social Security payments. She was also notified that the issue had been resolved and her Medicare was safe.
John Gormley contacted our office on behalf of his mother, Mary, a surviving World War II spouse. Mary had applied for aid and attendance but never heard back about her claim. Our office contacted the VA on Mary's behalf and soon received word that her claim had been approved and that she would be receiving the full aid and attendance benefit she was entitled to.
Robert Hessler reached out to our office after having trouble getting an appointment at the Providence VA. Our casework staff reached out to Medical Center Director Susan McKenzie’s office, which informed us that Mr. Hessler had not been enrolled for treatment. Within a week of our office reaching out, Mr. Healer was able to successfully schedule his first appointment.
Karen Tweedly contacted our office in regards to aid and attendance benefits she was trying to secure through the VA for her mother, Elma. Our staff was able to work with the VA to resolve her claim quickly. We also helped expedite the fiduciary process and cut through red tape to ensure Elma's benefits were promptly delivered to her.
Claire Sarault, a resident of Lincoln, contacted Congressman Cicilline’s office to request assistance with her husband Mike’s enrollment in HealthSource RI. His account had been held up because of a data error, and he was going without vital medication and important health care appointments as a result. After Congressman Cicilline’s staff contacted HealthSource RI, the error in Mike’s account was corrected and he was properly enrolled.
Walter Reis and his wife, residents of North Providence, emailed Congressman Cicilline’s office when they did not receive their tax refund in the Spring and the IRS was unable to locate the money. After Congressman Cicilline’s staff contacted the IRS, the refund was deposited into the account.
Arthur Medeiros was a 22-year-old resident of Pawtucket in 1942 when he enlisted as a Sergeant in the 3rd Division of the U.S. Army. During the Battle of the Bulge, Arthur was injured. He was designated to receive a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service, but never received the medals. He obtained an honorable discharge from the Army in 1945. More than seven decades later, at the age of 92, Arthur contacted Congressman Cicilline’s office for help securing his medals. Within a short, with Congressman Cicilline’s assistance, this veteran finally received the honors he had earned so many years earlier.
Jose Monteiro, a resident of North Providence, reached out to Congressman Cicilline’s office because he was being denied social security disability benefits due to errors in the case after three years of applying and appealin g. Congressman Cicilline’s office was able to fix those mistakes in the application process, get his appeals hearing expedited, and his application approved.
A Navy veteran, Louis Lefort, reached out to Congressman Cicilline’s office in order to change the status of his discharge, which he understood to be General Under Honorable Conditions. After reviewing Louis’s paperwork, Congressman Cicilline’s office ascertained that he had actually received a full Honorable Discharge at the time his service concluded. After 44 years, Louis was finally able to rest assured that his service was validated.