05/26/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/26/2023 07:22
TRENTON, N.J. - On Friday, May 26, Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis celebrated her 500th day in office by announcing more than a half million dollars in recovered refunds, payments and property for her constituents.
"My staff and I hit our goal of $500,000 recovered for constituents nearly six months ahead of schedule, because we were persistent and efficient in tracking down their funds," Matsikoudis (R-Union) said. "Taking on a web of bureaucracy and alleviating stress and financial worry for deserving residents is very rewarding, especially considering economic uncertainties and inflation. Recovering that money before it loses its value is imperative for constituents who are counting on those funds to pay an electric bill, make rent, and put food on the table."
Since taking office in January 2022, Matsikoudis and her team have recovered $500,693 for residents of legislative district 21, which covers parts of Morris, Somerset and Union counties. The office has resolved delayed and denied unemployment claims, as well as missing medical leave insurance, tax refunds, ANCHOR payments, and more.
"Because people had to proactively apply for property tax relief through the ANCHOR program, there was more room for error than if it had just been an automatic tax cut. For us, it was simply the latest state process we had to help residents navigate, but for them it meant potentially leaving $1,500 in the government pot. That could be a mortgage payment," she added. "Thankfully, the office's diligence has paid off."
The district office has a 91% casework resolution rate and has been averaging one new case every day in 2023. Since becoming an assemblywoman, she has recovered an average of $1,000 a day for constituents.
"Residents were not getting the service or benefits they deserved or were entitled to. They had exhausted all their personal energy by the time they showed up at my door, so resolution is really the only option," Matsikoudis said. "Statistics are stellar, but it's the stories from constituents that truly motivate me. It's why I do what I do. It is a privilege and honor to serve the public."