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Weekly Column: Helping South Dakotans Navigate Federal Agencies

Part of my job as a United States Senator is to provide assistance to South Dakotans who are having trouble dealing with a federal agency. In fact, it is the primary focus in my state offices. Members of my staff in South Dakota are specially trained to help constituents navigate the federal maze. We work with our fellow South Dakotans on a daily basis, addressing their concerns and issues related to the federal government.  Sometimes, we even work to remind the federal government it’s the citizens for whom they are employed to serve. Whether a constituent is having trouble handling a VA claim, accessing social security benefits, filing taxes or obtaining a visa, my staff and I are here to help. Already, we have successfully assisted many South Dakotans by expediting passports that were delayed and helping veterans obtain additional benefits which they have been promised.  I’m proud of the work we are doing and we are honored to help.

South Dakotans needing help dealing with a federal agency should contact one of my state offices. We are located in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Huron and Aberdeen. One of my staff members will also hold office hours in Mitchell every other Tuesday starting March 10, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers, in Watertown every other Thursday as of March 26, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Watertown Regional Library and in Huron every Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Huron Public Library. My Aberdeen office will be open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Office locations and phone numbers are listed on my website,, under the “Contact” tab. South Dakotans should feel free to call any of my offices for assistance. Because my team works closely together across the state and in Washington, we strive to provide a timely response to each person contacting us.

My state offices in Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls are open every week day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I would encourage anyone who has questions or issues with a federal agency to call, send a letter or simply stop in. I understand how frustrating it can be to have an issue with the government and not know the best way to resolve it. The federal agencies have lists of complex and often confusing rules. Navigating them alone can seem daunting. We understand that, and we are here to help.

One of the most important parts of my job as a Senator is acting on behalf of my constituents during times of need. I have highly qualified, talented individuals on staff, many of whom have years of experience dealing with casework on both the state and federal level. Whether we are the first call someone makes when dealing with a federal agency or their last call when they feel as if they can no longer fight the government on their own, we are here. My team and I look forward to serving the people of South Dakota any way we can.