Worried about her husband’s health, a Rhode Island woman reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office after an experimental surgery left her husband unable to walk or use his arms. While her husband recovered in a Northern Rhode Island facility waiting for an MRI, a social worker explained to her that her husband was no longer enrolled in Medicaid. Senator Whitehouse’s office immediately worked with the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, responsible for administering Medicaid in Rhode Island, to resolve this coverage issue before her husband’s scheduled MRI. Within days, her husband was re-enrolled in Medicaid and proceeded with the MRI.
Unable to get a response from the Veteran’s Administration (VA), a Rhode Island woman contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office for assistance expediting a decision to increase her father’s monthly pension. Her father, a World War 2 veteran, needed help paying for his assisted living costs as he deals with complex and progressive illnesses. His assisted living costs were more than $1,900 per month, and he was struggling with his stipend of $1,084 per month. Senator Whitehouse’s Office reached out to the VA prompting a quick response. After a week of working with Senator Whitehouse’s office, the VA raised his monthly stipend from $1,084 per month to $1,703 per month. With this increased stipend, her father was better able to manage his medical costs and payments to his assisted living facility.
A Rhode Island physician contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office for assistance bringing his father to the United States from Syria for urgent pancreatic cancer surgery. Due to the persistent conflicts in Syria, local Syrian hospitals were struggling to meet his needs. This concerned son was able to get an appointment for his father at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan to apply for a visa, but the interview was not for another month.
Worried about his father’s health condition, he reach out to Senator Whitehouse’s office to request an expedited appointment. Working with Senator Whitehouse’s office, the Embassy granted the request after the family secured proof from doctors that he had cancer and demonstrated his ability to pay for the surgery. In addition, Senator Whitehouse’s office secured a visa appointment for this Rhode Islander’s mother at the same time, so both could travel together if approved. Senator Whitehouse’s office corresponded with the consulate staying updated on the visa process for both parents to assure all was going as planned.
After a positive review from the Consulate, the visas were approved within a day so the parents could travel to the United States. His parents arrived safely in the U.S. one week from the day he contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office for assistance. His father successfully underwent surgery in Rhode Island.
A Rhode Islander called Senator Whitehouse’s office on behalf of her friend who needed contact information for American Citizen Services in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her friend’s mother became very ill, and she was trying to return to Rhode Island for medical treatment.Senator Whitehouse’s office was able to work with the State Department and the local Consulate to put the right people in touch with her friend to arrange a flight and medical treatment for her ailing mother.Her friend and her friend’s mother were able to return to Rhode Island in a timely manner for treatment at Miriam Hospital in Providence.
A Rhode Island mother reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office to secure Social Security Disability benefits for her son who suffers from a rare neurological disease causing extreme pain. Senator Whitehouse’s office expedited her son’s hearing with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. His request for benefits was approved.
More recently, his mother contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office with concerns about her son’s insurance coverage. Her son’s disease required specialized treatment, but the only in-network doctor would be abroad for 3 months. The nearest in-network provider was based in Chicago. His mother found a doctor in Connecticut who was a notable expert on her son’s condition. Although he was no longer in-network, this doctor would be significantly more convenient for the family. Senator Whitehouse’s staff contacted the insurance company on the family’s behalf to ask them to consider allowing the family to seek treatment with the Connecticut based doctor. The insurance company approved the treatment, and her son has received treatment with the Connecticut specialist.
A Rhode Island man’s family reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office to see if we could help him obtain his records from the Coast Guard confirming his time at sea, so he could apply for a Captain’s license. Both the Coast Guard and the National Personnel Records Center claimed they did not have his records. Senator Whitehouse’s office contacted the local Coast Guard office and the National Personnel Records Center coordinating efforts to resolve the confusion. Shortly after intervening, the family confirmed the records arrived allowing the Rhode Islander to move forward with his Captain’s license application process.
The concerned daughter of an 86-year-old Korean War veteran with dementia reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office looking for help to secure adult day care services for her father. Her mother served as his primary caretaker, but their daughter realized that her mother needed help. Senator Whitehouse’s office assisted the family in admitting the father to a VA Adult Day Care Service. Their daughter reported that the VA program improved the well-being of bother her father and mother.
A constituent facing reduced Social Security benefits due to a paperwork error reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office for assistance. This Rhode Islander’s benefits decreased because the Social Security Administration (SSA) incorrectly believed he was receiving veteran disability compensation. He had never served in the military and shared with the Senator’s office that he was in danger of not being able to pay his bills, including his rent. The Senator’s office immediately reached out to the SSA to fix the error. The SSA required clarification from the Veterans Administration, so Senator Whitehouse’s staff quickly connected this constituent by phone with Veterans Administration to resolve the error. In addition to restoring his benefits, he recouped the funds that the SSA withheld while the issue was being resolved.
An active duty Airman from Rhode Island and stationed in Japan, contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office with concerns about the medical treatment his 1-year-old son had received on base. The infant had symptoms of kidney failure that the base medical staff failed to diagnose and properly treat.
Senator Whitehouse’s staff initiated an investigation into the infant’s medical treatment by sending a formal letter to the United States Air Force Congressional Liaison to open an investigation. The investigation revealed that the base medical staff in Japan was not able to provide the services the infant needed, and the Air Force transferred the family to a military medical facility in Hawaii. The baby’s health has improved and the family is doing well.
A Rhode Island mother attended a community outreach events hosted by Senator Whitehouse’s staff. She lost her son in 2010. In the process of filing his income taxes, she discovered his identity had been stolen as someone had attempted to file his return fraudulently. She tried to resolve the issue with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) directly, but they informed her it would take at least an additional 16 weeks to resolve the issue. After patiently waiting the prescribed 16 weeks, she still had not received word from the IRS on her son’s return status. This Rhode Island mother reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s staff for assistance. Senator Whitehouse’s staff immediately reached out to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate to look into this. The Advocate worked with Senator Whitehouse’s office and the IRS to help this mother complete the necessary forms to expedite the return. A short time after Senator Whitehouse’s staff intervened, she received the return of $9,444.03 with interest of $233.03.
A Rhode Island business owner contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office after running into challenges purchasing a North Smithfield home. The property had been foreclosed in May, and his bid was accepted in June. In August, he and his young son moved out of their Providence apartment and into an extended stay hotel to allow new tenants to move in to the Providence apartment. He was initially okay with this arrangement because he was assured after several delays to anticipate a September 15 closing date. On September 6, he discovered that the lender had never completed the process of obtaining clear title. This delayed the closing date for a sixth time.
This father was in danger of losing the home. He contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office explaining this situation and to ask for assistance. He had spent $6,500 on the extended stay hotel, meals, and storage space. Additionally, he had enrolled his son in the new school system before the new academic year started, but he had less than 30 days to prove residency or be charged approximately $3,100 for tuition. Senator Whitehouse’s office reached out to the Rhode Island Housing Resource Commission and worked to get the closing done in a timely manner. Although there were several more extensions, this business owner and his son were able to move into the property in mid-November.
A Rhode Islander contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office about issues with the Medicare coverage. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she was unable to keep up with her Medicare Part B premiums. She reached out to Senator Whitehouse after she sent a partial payment to cover her Medicare Part B premiums, but she had her coverage immediately revoked. Senator Whitehouse’s staff contacted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the program, to explain her financial predicament while managing her chronic disease. Although CMS agreed to reinstate her coverage after she paid the balance of her premium, she explained to Senator Whitehouse’s staff that she would continue to have difficulty keeping up with the Medicare payments due to the cost of her chronic illness. Senator Whitehouse’s office reached out to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services and asked them to send her an application form for Medicaid. Shortly thereafter, she was approved for Medicaid to assist with the financial costs of her chronic illness.
A Rhode Island mother and tireless advocate for her daughter reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office after her daughter’s supplemental security income benefit payments stopped. The Social Security Administration (SSA) informed the Rhode Island mother that the SSA had detected an overpayment of over $12,000. She did not understand how her daughter, who works part time in retail, could have accumulated such an overpayment. Senator Whitehouse’s office reached out to the SSA to explain the situation and request a thorough review of the SSA’s determination due to a possible miscalculation. The Social Security Administration reconsidered its overpayment determination and decided to reinstate her benefits withdrawing the $12,767.30 overpayment request.
A gold star Rhode Island mother was working with the local high school to renovate the track and field in memory of her son. She lost her son during a training incident while he served in the Marines. She reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office to get help obtaining his DD-214 to confirm the medals he had earned during his service. Senator Whitehouse’s office contacted the Marine Corps and within a few days the fallen soldier’s mother received the documentation detailing his honors. She used this information to commission a bronze bust of her son that she unveiled at his local high school during the track and field dedication ceremony in September of 2016.
The spouse of an active duty marine found out her husband received orders assigning him to Naval Station Newport. Knowing about the assignment, she applied and interviewed for a position at Naval Station Newport. After receiving a verbal offer, the hiring process was placed on hold because of the Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze. She wrote to Senator Whitehouse with expressing her concern regarding this hiring freeze and the challenges her family would face. Senator Whitehouse’s office worked with the Congressional Liaison at Naval Station Newport to inquire if she was eligible for a waiver that would permit her immediate employment. Having thought highly of this woman as a future employee, the Human Resources and Naval Station Newport provided her a waiver.
A Rhode Islander contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office for help with Tricare Express Scripts. His wife was in the midst of her third medical appeal process after Tricare Express Scripts rejected her doctor’s recommended prescription. Frustrated by the system, he requested that Senator Whitehouse’s office connect Express Scripts with her doctor. Soon after Senator Whitehouse’s office assisted, the appeal was granted allowing his wife to receive her medication.
A former Rhode Island National Guardsman reached an agreement for disability and severance pay after 5 years of service. The National Guardsman and his family reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office when severe delays in payment were causing hardship for his family. Senator Whitehouse’s office worked with the Rhode Island National Guard to expedite their payment process. Within a few weeks of contacting his Senator’s office, the Rhode Island Guardsman began receiving his disability and severance pay, including all the back pay owed to him.
A Rhode Islander contacted Senator Whitehouse’s office on behalf of her 95-year-old grandfather, who was a World War II Army veteran. He did not have his military records or medals from his service, and his granddaughter was hoping to retrieve the records of his service. Senator Whitehouse’s office contacted the National Personnel Records Center and submitted a formal request for military records and medals. Then, Senator Whitehouse personally presented the World War II veteran a signed certificate of appreciation from both Senator Whitehouse and Senator Reed at an event attended by his peers at the Johnston Senior Center. The 95-year-old veteran received the medals he earned from his service on Christmas of 2015.
A Rhode Islander was one of 74 sailors who died because of a collision with another naval vessel off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His body, along with the bodies of 73 other sailors, was never found. For more than 40 years, he was never memorialized like the rest of those who died or were lost in the Vietnam War.
His family has been fighting to see his sacrifice properly recognized. The family reached out to Senator Whitehouse’s office for assistance with memorializing their fallen family member. Senator Whitehouse’s office acquired the sailor’s military record and worked with his family, the Resurrection Cemetery in Cumberland, and the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Association to find an appropriate location for a memorial to this Rhode Islander’s sacrifice. The Congressional Delegation, several local Representatives, Family, Friends, veterans, and Navy personnel were present for the dedication ceremony.