Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

Agency Assistance

My staff is available to assist constituents and Maryland-based businesses with problems or questions they may have involving a federal agency. You are welcome to call 410-962-4436, or click here to submit a form for assistance.

You may be requested to submit a Privacy Act form required for inquiries to most federal agencies. Click here to download a copy of our Privacy Form.

Frequently asked questions along with web sites that can provide you with assistance are listed below.



How can I get help in resolving a consumer dispute?

How can I report consumer fraud?

I think my identity has been stolen. What should I do?

Questions regarding land-line telephone issues and utility rates should be directed to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

410-767-8000 or

My long distance phone carrier was switched without my consent. What should I do?

How can I get on the National Do Not Call Registry?

Where can I find federal government property for sale?

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Doing Business with the Federal Government

How can I do business with the federal government?

Where can I find business opportunities with the federal government?

The most comprehensive sites are: and

Are there SBA programs or certifications that may help me compete for federal contracts?

How do I start a business? or

How can I get help in financing my business?

How can I find out about federal grants? 

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Federal employment vacancies are posted online at  Additional information about employment opportunities with a specific agency may be found on the individual federal agency’s website:

My employer is harassing me or illegally discriminating against me. What can I do?

I work for a federal agency and was injured on the job. How do I file a claim for federal workers compensation?

How do I get the status of my claim?


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Health Care

Where can I find information about the Affordable Care Act?

For questions regarding the State Medical Assistance programs:

If I have a pre-existing condition, where can I find health insurance?

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Higher Education Grants and Loans

I need assistance paying for college.  and

How do I apply for Federal Student Aid?

I have questions regarding the FAFSA Form or federal student loans.

Federal Information Center-800-433-3243 or

I want to consolidate my federal student loans. or  800-557-7392

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Where can I get help to avoid foreclosure on my home or assistance with my mortgage? or 877-462-7555

What federal programs are available to help me with my mortgage?

Where can I find a housing/foreclosure counselor?

Where do I apply for Section 8 or public housing?

How do I file a housing discrimination complaint?

I am about to be evicted. What are my rights as a tenant?

Contact Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. at 1-800-487-6007 or for information on your rights and responsibilities under Maryland law. If you live in Montgomery County, you should contact Montgomery County's Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs at 240-777-3600.

How can I search for an affordable apartment?

What do I need to know if I’m interested in a reverse mortgage?

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Where can I find general information about immigration benefits – including information about eligibility, forms and filing fees, processing times or information about updating or changing my address?   

Please visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at or you may wish to contact USCIS’ National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283.

I have a specific question that cannot be answered by visiting the USCIS website. May I speak with someone at USCIS? 

If you have an immigration issue that is best handled by a trained USCIS Immigration Officer, you may visit to schedule a free InfoPass appointment.

Do I have to pay for the forms required to apply for an immigration benefit? 

You do not have to pay anyone for copies of USCIS forms. USCIS forms are free. However, there are associated filing fees for many USCIS forms. Please visit or call the NCSC at 1-800-870-3676.

What steps can I take to avoid immigration scams?   

A list of common immigration scams and advice on finding authorized legal help can be found at

Is it possible to check my case status? 

To view the status of a case, please visit and enter the corresponding application receipt number in the box under CASE STATUS. The 13-character application receipt number can be found on application notices you have received from USCIS.

Where can I find Visa application forms?   

For Department of State Visa application forms, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website or you may obtain the forms by visiting the following link:

I want to invite my relative to the U.S. for a temporary visit. What form is required? 

The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is an online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the United States. For more information about the application process, please visit

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Legal Documents/Information

How do I get a birth, marriage, divorce or death certificate?

I need legal advice but cannot afford it. Who can I contact?

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Social Security/Medicare

How can I get a new or replacement Social Security card?

How can I apply for Social Security benefits?

How do I sign up for Direct Deposit?

Where is my local SSA office?

How do I report Social Security Fraud? 

1-800-269-0271 or

Where can I get information on the cost of living adjustment?

For questions regarding Medicare,  ( is a different website, not the one meant for beneficiaries)

How do I get a new Medicare card?

How do I apply for Medicare?

What services does Medicare cover?

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How can I get an extension on my tax return?

How can I get help in resolving a tax dispute with the IRS?,,id=98284,00.html

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Where can I find information and forms concerning passports, visas and overseas travel advisories?

Where is my closest passport acceptance facility?

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U.S. Postal Service

Questions regarding your mail delivery, lost packages, or postage

800-275-8777 or

Who do I contact if someone steals my mail?

U.S. Postal Inspection Service-877-876-2455 or

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Where can I find information on federal benefits for veterans?

As a veteran, are there any Maryland benefits for which I may qualify?

I’m a homeless veteran.  Where can I get help?

What benefits and services are provided to surviving spouses and dependents of a deceased veteran?

Where do I find information about VA Health Care? How can I apply?

How can I check the status of my VA claim?

How do I appeal the VA's decision on my disability claim?

I am a returning service member from Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). What can the VA do for me?

How do I obtain copies of military service records?

How can I upgrade my military discharge?, www.donhq.navymil/bcnr/bcnr.htm,

Where can I find information about TRICARE?

For more help with veteran's issues, visit my Veterans Resource Center.

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