383679 04: A shopper pays cash for sales merchandise December 26, 2000 at the Lakeline Mall in Austin, Texas. Stores were hoping that after Christmas shopping could salvage what seems to be a disappointing holiday season. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney says his office helped to return more than $1.5 million last year to eastern Connecticut constituents who were owed everything from Social Security checks to overdue veterans' benefits.
The 2nd District Democrat credited his staff with helping constituents who are "fighting through bureaucracy to get what they were rightfully owed."
He said he hopes the constituents' stories, including a Mystic widow who received nearly $90,000 in military benefits, will encourage others to come forward and ask for help.
Social Security payments topped the list of recovered funds, at $849,224. Courtney's office also recouped $352,507 in military-related benefits for constituents and $147,101 from the Internal Revenue Service.
His caseworkers also helped with cases involving student loans, pensions, Federal Emergency Management Agency payments and housing.