Frequently Asked Questions

You can always contact Jim's Seattle or DC office to express an opinion or seek assistance. However, you may find answers to some of your questions below, where several of the most frequently asked questions are addressed.

General
How can I request a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building?
How can I request a tour of the White House?
How can I order a flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol?
How do I apply for an internship in Jim’s office?
How do I find out what grant money is available for my organization?
Where can I access the privacy release form?

On The Issues
How can I find out how you voted on specific legislation?
What legislation have you sponsored or co-sponsored?
How do you feel on the issues that I am concerned about?
How can I tell what is currently happening on the House floor?

Social Security
Do I qualify for Social Security?
How do I apply for Social Security benefits?
What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
I have other questions about Social Security.
I am having a problem with my personal Social Security. Who can I contact?

Veterans' Affairs
Am I eligible for veterans benefits? How do I apply?
How can I contact the Department of Veteran Affairs?
I am not happy with a decision the VA made regarding my benefits. How may I appeal?

Medicare
What is Medicare and how can I find out if I am eligible?
How can I find a participating physician that fits my needs?
How can Jim’s office help with HMOs and prescription drugs?
I have other questions about Medicare – where can I find additional answers?

Taxes
I need assistance filling out my tax returns. Can Jim’s office help me?
What should I do if I need help dealing with back taxes?
I have other questions about Taxes or the Internal Revenue Service – where can I find additional answers?

Staying In Touch
How do I request a meeting with Congressman McDermott?
How can I invite the Congressman to speak at my school or an event my organization is hosting?
How can I sign up for the e-newsletter?
I contacted the Congressman, but haven't received a response. What's going on?


How can I request a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building?
Guided tours of the Capitol are available Monday-Saturday from 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tours are free, but tour passes are required. Tours may be booked in advance and online. More information can be found at the Congressman’s Visiting Washington, D.C. page.

How can I request a tour of the White House?
Due to increased security procedures enacted since September 11th, it is very difficult to get tickets to tour the White House and slots are extremely limited. Tour requests should be made up three to six months in advance and requests are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tours are available Tuesdays-Saturdays, and the White House makes the final decision about who will receive a tour. To request a tour, please fill out the tour request form, which can be found by clicking here

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How can I order a flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol?
Residents of the 7th District may purchase a U.S. flag through Jim’s office. For an additional fee, you have the option of requesting your flags be flown over the United States Capitol on a specific date and receiving an accompanying Certificate from the Architect of the Capitol. To get started, click here.

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How do I apply for an internship in Jim’s office?
Congressional internships in Jim’s DC and Seattle offices provide individuals with valuable hands-on experience working closely with staff in a wide-range of areas including constituent correspondence, legislative policy and press. To learn more about an internship and how to apply, click here.

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How do I find out what grant money is available for my organization?
Each year billions of dollars are distributed in federal grant and loan money to institutions and organizations throughout the country. The 7th Congressional District's outstanding universities and colleges, non-profit organizations and local governments are well-qualified to compete for these funds. To learn more about federal grants, and how to find and apply for them, click here

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Where can I access the privacy release form?
Click here for the Privacy Release Form.

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On the Issues

How can I find out how Jim voted on specific legislation?
The Library of Congress provides access to how each member of Congress voted on a particular motion or bill in the U.S. House. These are called “roll call votes.”

What legislation has Jim sponsored or co-sponsored?
To see a list of all bills Jim has sponsored or co-sponsored, click here. Under “Browse Bills by Sponsors,” scroll down to “McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7]” and then click the “GO” button.

How does Jim feel about the issues?

Click here to go to the Issues section of the website. If one of the issues you are concerned about is not listed, click here to contact Jim and find out his position.

How can I tell what is currently happening on the House floor?
When Congress is in sessions, activities on the House Floor are updated online throughout the legislative day. To view the current floor schedule, click here. To view video of what is currently happening on the House Floor, click here (video feed available only when the House is in session).

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Social Security

Do I qualify for Social Security?
Many Americans are unaware that they qualify for Social Security. Use the Social Security Administration's Screening Tool to check if you do.

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How do I apply for Social Security benefits?
You can apply for retirement benefits online by visiting the following Social Security Administration’s website: http://ssa.gov/pgm/retirement.htm. To apply for Social Security disability benefits online, visit this website: http://ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm. You can also call the Social Security Administration (1-800-772-1213) and have them send you the necessary forms to apply for retirement or disability benefits. If you are having trouble dealing with the Social Security Administration, please contact Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Supplemental Security Income is an income assistance program offered by the Social Security Administration for senior citizens, the blind, or the disabled who have a net worth less than $2,000.  To apply for benefits or to ask questions, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. 

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I am having a problem with my personal Social Security. Who can I contact?
If you are having trouble dealing with the Social Security Administration, please contact the Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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I have other questions about Social Security, where can I find additional answers?
You can visit the Social Security Administration’s “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage to find answers to additional questions.

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Veterans’ Affairs

Am I eligible for veterans’ benefits? How do I apply?
You may be eligible for compensation, disability, pension, or vocational rehabilitation benefits if you are a U.S. military veteran; have over two years of active duty service; are a member of the Selected Reserve; or, are a spouse/dependent of a "service connected" deceased or disabled veteran.  If you meet any of these requirements, you can determine eligibility and apply to receive benefits online using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran’s On-Line Application, which is also known as “VONAPP”.

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How can I contact the Department of Veteran Affairs?
You can visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website or call 1-800-827-1000 for all benefits-related inquiries. If you are having problems getting answers or dealing with the Department, contact Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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I am not happy with a decision the VA made regarding my benefits. How can I appeal?
Find out more about appealing a VA decision on the Board of Veterans Appeals page.

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Medicare

What is Medicare and how can I find out if I am eligible?

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older, some disabled people under 65 years of age, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant). It shouldn’t be confused with Medicaid, which is a health care program for individuals with low income and limited resources. To find out if you are eligible for Medicare, click here.

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How can I find a participating Medicare physician that fits my needs?
Click here to see a participating physician directory.

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How can Jim’s office help with HMOs and prescription drugs?
Besides primary Medicare coverage in the community, many individuals receive their medical benefits, including prescription drugs, through a primary HMO provider. If you are having problems with your coverage, contact Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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I have other questions about Medicare -- where can I find additional answers?
To visit Medicare's Frequently Asked Questions section of their website, click here.

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Taxes

I need assistance filling out my tax returns. Can Jim’s office help me?

With a signed Privacy Release Form, Jim’s staff can obtain information about a taxpayer's individual tax account or the status of a return. Although Jim’s congressional staff is not trained to directly assist in the preparation of returns or claims, the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers provide direct help solving tax problems, filing claims, making installment agreements and preparing basic individual income tax returns for incomes of $35,000 or less. To get certified help with your tax returns, contact Washington State’s IRS Taxpayer Advocate's office at (206) 220-6037 or click here.

In addition, if you have not had success in your dealings with the IRS, Jim’s Seattle staff can help you. You can contact Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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What should I do if I need help dealing with back taxes?
The best way to get help is by contacting Washington State’s IRS Taxpayer Advocate's office at (206) 220-6037. If you find that they are not helpful, contact Jim’s Seattle office at (206) 553-7170.

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I have other questions about taxes or the Internal Revenue Service – where can I find additional answers?

Visit the IRS’s exhaustive Frequently Asked Questions webpage by clicking here.

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Staying In Touch

How do I request a meeting with Jim?
Jim’s door is always open to residents of the 7th District. To request a meeting to talk about the issues that matter to you, please click here.

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How do I invite Jim to speak at my school or an event my organization is hosting?
To invite Jim to attend an event or visit your school, please click here

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How can I sign up for the e-newsletter?
To sign up, click here

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I contacted Jim, but haven't received a response. What's going on?
Jim takes pride in responding to questions and concerns from residents of the 7th District. Response times to inquiries can vary depending on a number of factors; here are the top reasons why a response may have been delayed:

  1. The legislation or issue you contacted Jim about will be considered soon.
    If Congress is expected to act on a particular issue or legislation soon, responses to your inquiry may be delayed to ensure you receive the most accurate information available about the status of the issue or legislation.
  2. An e-mail spam filter has blocked the response.
    If you have not received a response, please check your junk mail folder and spam filters. If you have checked your spam settings, but have not received a response to your inquiry, please call the DC office at 202-225-3106 and a staffer will work with you to make sure you receive a response.
  3. Your letter was addressed to the Washington, DC office.
    Due to security precautions, all mail addressed to the Washington, DC office goes through extensive processing before it is received. This process often results in a 2-3 week delay in delivery.

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