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Congressman’s Office Helping Residents During Pandemic

Whether it’s assisting people get home or enrolling for unemployment or educating people about stimulus checks, the representative for New York’s 23rd Congressional District is helping hundreds during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, told regional news media during his weekly conference call that his staff has fielded around 1,575 calls for assistance. He said, so far, 302 of those calls have concluded with Reed’s staff “connecting the dots” to get answers and results for residents in the district.

“I’m committed to them and my team is committed to them,” he said.

Reed said his staff has helped two district residents return home during the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak who were overseas when the pandemic hit. The daughter of a teacher at Alfred State was in Morocco when Reed’s office helped her return back to New York state after connecting her to the U.S. Embassy. Also, Reed said a former Fredonia native was stuck in Peru and also made her way back home after Reed’s office assisted by again connecting her to the U.S. Embassy.

Reed said his staff has been able to assist those applying for unemployment. He said with a significant number of people being laid off during the pandemic, there was a lot of “clunkiness” at first when people were applying for unemployment. However, he said the process is improving.

“We are hearing there is an overwhelming number of people from the region to the state to the nation (applying for unemployment),” he said.

Reed said there are 50 million people nationally applying for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic. He said if residents of the 23rd Congressional District are having trouble filing for unemployment, they should contact one of Reed’s offices by going to reed.house.gov.

“If there is no response from the (unemployment) office or you’re lost in bureaucratic white noise, call us. We are in direct contact with these folks,” Reed said. “We can be a resource.”

Reed also discussed the stimulus checks Americans will be receiving. He said anyone with a social security number, and meets the income guidelines, will receive a $1,200 check, and an additional $500 for each child or dependent. He added that folks that weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return will have to fill in an additional form to receive a stimulus check.

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