This past September, a Jerusalem resident contacted Agudath Israel’s Constituent Services Department seeking assistance for his elderly mother, Mrs. K, a Holocaust survivor. When Mrs. K’s husband passed away in August she contacted the US Social Security Administration (SSA) to inform them of his passing. Due to a reporting error, Mrs. K’s Social Security payments, pension payments and bank accounts were frozen, leaving the elderly woman with no income. Her son then tried multiple times over the course of many months to get an appointment at the American Consulate in Jerusalem, but to no avail.
Agudath Israel contacted the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office and Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (D – NY 10th district), who were successful in securing an appointment for Mrs. K and her son at the Consulate. The Consulate representatives met with them, and then contacted the foreign division of the SSA office in Baltimore. SSA notified Mrs. K that she would start receiving her payments shortly. However, months passed and Mrs. K did not receive any payments.
Once again, Agudah Israel’s Constituent Services Department continued to help out by contacting a lawyer in Baltimore, MD. The attorney agreed to work on the case pro bono, and communicated directly with the foreign division of the SSA. He found out that a few mistakes in the SSA’s computer system were tying up the payments. After weeks of communication, the situation was finally rectified. The Constituent Services Department received a joyous email from Mrs. K’s son on March 13th informing them that Mrs. K had finally received her Social Security payment into her Israel bank account. They expressed great appreciation for all of Agudath Israel’s efforts on their behalf.