Need help with a federal agency? Our office may be able to help. We’ve helped hundreds of Orange County families get timely answers from the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, and other federal agencies. In order to better serve you, our office compiled these messages from community members to shed light on the types of problems we can help resolve.
—Melody, Orange County
—Pup Up Hooray, Lake Forest
In late March of this year, I filed my Federal Income tax return. Also in March, I was also laid off due to COVID-19 work closure. I waited months for my tax return and refund to be processed with no results. Since my tax return had not been processed, this also prevented an issuance of the federal COVID-19 stimulus check to me. For many like me, these funds are vital to being able to survive. I reached out to US Representative Porter’s office for help. Immediately, her office contacted me to gather more information and to offer assistance. Every person I have had contact with from Rep. Porter’s office was caring, professional, respectful and attentive to my needs and concerns. Her staff continued to stay in contact with me, giving me updates of what US Rep. Porter had been doing regarding my situation. Never once did I feel I was ignored or forgotten. Rep. Porter and her staff always cared about my situation and continued to seek answers. US Rep. Porter has been and continues to work with an IRS Liaison for those of us who hadn’t received our tax refund and/or our federal stimulus check. Because of her hard work and commitment, I was finally able to receive my tax refund at the end of July and my federal stimulus check at the beginning of August. If it weren’t for US Rep. Porter, I know I would still be waiting for my refund and stimulus check. I am grateful for Rep. Porter and her staff’s help, care and commitment to her constituents, all Americans and to our country.
—Lauren, Villa Park
On September 29, 2019, I applied for VA survivors’ pension benefits for my 95-years-young Mama. For more than seven months, I inquired about the status of her claim and was repeatedly told it was in the processing phase. Eventually, I asked when I could expect a decision, and was told November 2020. I began to lose hope. Fortunately, my husband suggested I write my Mama’s Member of Congress to ask for help. When I investigated, lo and behold, I discovered her representative was none other than Congresswoman Katie Porter-- one of my She-roes! Feeling more optimistic armed with this knowledge, on May 12, 2020, I completed the necessary online forms. Within days, I received an acknowledgement from Rep. Porter’s office. Fifteen days later, Congresswoman Porter’s office contacted me stating that the VA had reached a favorable decision and that my Mama would receive her monthly pension benefit AND a retroactive payment. Needless to say, I am overjoyed with this outcome. I am afraid the benefit application would still be in bureaucratic limbo but for the professional, speedy and effective action of Congresswoman Porter and her staff.
—Priscilla, on behalf of her mother in Lake Forest
In Mid-March, I submitted an application for renewal of my passport to the State Department. My passport expiration date was in early May. Having received neither the renewed passport nor any communication from the State Department for several months I tried to find out the status of my application. I learned that, due to the COVID-19 situation, the State Department was not processing renewals. My biggest concern was that my 98-year-old mother lives in Canada and I needed to be prepared to visit her on a moment's notice. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to expedite the processing of my application. Well, almost nothing. I contacted Katie Porter's office on June 30th and asked for assistance. My need was addressed by Melissa Pender the Director of Constituent Services and Outreach. We had regular email exchanges and I felt I was in good hands. Three weeks later, my new passport was in my hand. My most heartfelt thanks to Melissa for coming through on this, it is such an enormous relief.
—Ruth, North Tustin
For work, I’m required to go overseas for half of the year. I recently gave birth and planned for my husband and son to accompany me. However, because of COVID, the majority of passport agencies are currently shut down and we have been unable to have our son’s passport application processed and issued in time for my departure in the coming month. We were being told that we would have to wait a minimum of three months before receiving his passport, meaning that my infant son would be unable to accompany me on my trip and I would be required to leave without him for an indefinite period of time. Desperate for help, I contacted Congresswoman Katie Porter’s office for assistance. I received a prompt response and was told that an inquiry was submitted to the passport service. Within ONE WEEK, I received my son’s passport in the mail. I am filled with relief and can now go overseas with my son without worrying about leaving him behind. Words do no justice to my gratitude!
—Foluke, Orange County
We filed our 2019 federal tax[es] in late February 2020. We were suppose[d] to get money back but no sign of a check after about 5 months. We finally reached out to Congresswoman Katie Porter's office for help. It did not take long to get the check in the mail. Her office staff were very helpful and we are very appreciative for the services.
I came to this country along with my husband and two kids in 2007, and we have been here for 13 years. We are one of the Indian families affected by the Green Card backlog, so we have to renew our visas every three years. For the current renewal, the processing time is so long because of COVID-19 & USCIS closure. I was almost on the verge of losing my job, so I reached out to Congresswoman Porter’s office. I got an immediate response and they followed through until my visa was renewed. I am so thankful to Congresswoman Porter and her team for helping me in this crucial time.
—Shinee, Rancho Santa Margarita
We electronically filed our taxes in March 2019. After numerous attempts to receive a response from the IRS explaining why our refund wasn't returned to us, we ask for help from Congresswoman Porter’s office. We were amazed that a response was in our mailbox within less than 24 hours. In addition, the staff maintained this level of responsiveness throughout the almost three months of work on our behalf. This compares to not receiving anything but a form letter after trying to work with her predecessor. While our issue is still not cleared, we are confident that it will be something Congresswoman Porter’s staff cares about and will not be forgotten until it is settled. We sincerely appreciate how we are treated and the professional nature with which our concerns are handled by every person in the congressional offices both locally and in Washington, DC.
—Robert and Loraine, Mission Viejo
I want to thank Congresswoman Katie Porter and her staff for the assistance they provided with getting my son Keith his passport. He applied for a renewal in March of this year for our trip to Vancouver in July. The pandemic caused delays in acquiring the needed passport. Within a week we received word from Congresswoman Porter’s office that his passport was forthcoming. It has arrived and we are grateful for the service provided. Thank you again for all your work. —David, Foothill Ranch