Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Navigating the Federal Government

noem press header kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Navigating the Federal Government
By Rep. Kristi Noem|
August 14, 2015

Every day, South Dakotans need to interact directly with dozens of federal agencies.  Maybe you receive health care through the Veterans Administration or Medicare.  Perhaps your family is looking to grow through an international adoption, which requires coordination with the U.S. State Department. Maybe you receive benefits from the Social Security Administration or operate your family business with a loan from the Small Business Administration or have a CRP contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At some point or another, most of us will have to deal with a government agency.  While we hope it goes smoothly and that they serve you with the respect you deserve, we know it unfortunately doesn’t always turn out that way.

The federal government can be a very difficult, complicated, and confusing organization to navigate.  But that’s where my office can help.  We call it “casework” and I believe it’s one of the most important functions of a congressional office.

Many times, we can help you with a single phone call.  Perhaps you’re simply not sure which agency or division you should contact.  We can help you figure that out quickly. We can also help you find exactly who to talk to within an agency to save you time and frustration.

Sometimes, the cases can be more complicated than that, however, and we are here to help you in those scenarios as well.  If you can’t get an answer from a federal agency or if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, we can make a formal inquiry or request information on your behalf.  While we cannot guarantee a favorable outcome, we will do our best to help ensure you receive a fair and timely response.  This is our way of ensuring the federal government remembers who it is accountable to – and that’s you.

Last year alone, we helped more than 500 constituents navigate federal agencies through our casework.  Please know our door is always open to help.  If you need immediate assistance, please visit my website at or call my office at 605-878-2868.

I’m incredibly grateful to be able to serve you in this way, so please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you need help.