RELEASE: Gottheimer Meets with North Jersey Residents Who He Helped Complete Adoption Process, Access Military Benefits, and Social Security

Nov 20, 2023

Above: Gottheimer speaks with Fifth District residents at the Wyckoff Free Public Library.

WYCKOFF, NJ — Today, November 20, 2023, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) joined with North Jersey residents — including veterans, seniors, and families — to discuss how he helped them receive much-needed benefits, services, and care from the government — including military benefits, social security, and even helping with an adoption process.

Over the past two years alone, Gottheimer has helped more than 400 veterans access their VA benefits and service medals; more than 950 Fifth District seniors access to their earned Social Security checks; get more than 60 constituents back home from being stranded overseas, including some stranded in Israel; and we helped more than 4,100 constituents get their unemployment benefits.

Watch Gottheimer’s conversation here.

Gottheimer met with the following Fifth District residents today:

  • Kara DeBlasio-Gagliano of Dumont is a lifelong Bergen County resident and teacher in North Jersey for 21 years. Kara had been fostering her son and had not received subsidies due from the State of New York for 14 months. The adoption of her 14-year-old son could not be finalized until the subsidies issue was resolved — delaying the adoption process. Kara reached out to Gottheimer and his Constituent Services Team looking for help. After Gottheimer’s office reached out to the State of New York,  Kara received over $28,000 in back pay owed to her family and was able to complete the adoption of her son last Friday.  
  • U.S. Army Sergeant Kateri Riley of Englewood served in the U.S. Army for eight years and is the wife of the late Staff Sergeant Reuben Riley, who earned a Purple Heart in the Army after eight years of service. Sadly, Staff Sergeant Reuben Riley passed away from stage four cancer in 2014. Since Staff Sergeant Reuben Riley passed within 120 days of his medical retirement from the Army, his wife, Sergeant Kateri Riley, was eligible for additional benefits, which she had not received for nine years. After being unable to make progress elsewhere, Sergeant Riley reached out to Gottheimer and his Constituent Services Team helped get Sergeant Riley more than $47,000 in retroactive benefits she deserved. Gottheimer’s office is continuing to work with Sergeant Riley to secure her Basic Allowance for Housing through the Defense Finance Accounting Service.
  • Sergeant David Moscaritolo of Wantage needed help receiving his incentive bonus for reenlisting to the New Jersey National Guard. Sergeant Moscaritolo has served in the Guard for 11 years and has been a New Jersey police officer for 10 years. Sergeant Moscaritolo reached out to Gottheimer because he hadn’t received his re-enlistment incentive for more than nine months. In less than 24 hours, Gottheimer’s Constituent Service team responded to Sergeant Moscaritolo, and after two short weeks, he received a response from the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs stating they would expedite his payment, and David finally received the full $15,000 he earned.  
  • Valentine Egorow of Bergenfield had not heard back from the Social Security Administration after applying for benefits back in October of 2022. Because the local Social Security office lost his application, Valentine was left without the benefits he earned for five months. After calling the Social Security Administration over and over again with no success, Valentine reached out to Gottheimer and received more than $22,000 in back-paid Social Security benefits just ten days later.

“I’m always fighting for the Fifth District, not just by focusing on issues our nation is facing, but local ones as well. By taking care of Fifth District constituents, we’ve helped thousands of residents who’ve been denied Social Security checks, VA benefits, health care, or critical resources they need — all due to bureaucratic glitches or red tape,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’ll continue fighting to lower the cost of drug prices, reinstate SALT, and protect Social Security and Medicare for those who have worked their whole lives and deserve access to the benefits they’ve earned. If you need help with any of the issues accessing Medicare, Social Security, passports, VA benefits, and so much more, please reach out to me.”

Gottheimer recently announced that he has clawed back more than $85 million to North Jersey constituents.

If you are experiencing an issue with a federal agency, Gottheimer and his Constituent Services Team are here to listen and help with VA benefits, Social Security, Medicare, passports, delayed IRS refunds, and more. Reach out to Gottheimer in Fair Lawn at 201-389-1100, in Newton at 973-940-1117, email at, or visit Gottheimer.House.Gov for more information and resources. 

Gottheimer was joined by Midland Park Councilman Keith DeBlasio.

Below: Gottheimer speaks with Fifth District residents at the Wyckoff Free Public Library.


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