WASHINGTON, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 13, 2015 at approximately 4:20 PM ET, a set of coordinated attacks shook Paris.
At approximately 5:00 PM ET, the USAGov Contact Center, handling calls for the Department of State, received its first call about the attacks: An American woman was shot in Paris. Her worried mother had no way to reach her.
The next call came in 11 minutes later. Then 15 minutes. Then four. As news of the attacks spread, the number of people unable to get in touch with family and friends in Paris grew. Over the next four days, agents at the Contact Center worked the phones 24 hours a day, comforting and connecting more than 600 callers with information to locate their loved ones overseas. As many as 4,000 other callers got the information they needed from the Contact Center's constantly-updated recordings.
Whether it's as complex as a crisis abroad or as straightforward as getting the phone number for your local Social Security office, USAGov and its Contact Center connect you with your government.
Get to Know USAGov and Its Contact Center
It can be overwhelming to search for dependable information about government services and benefits. USAGov is your starting point--the official federal program that guides you to the information you need from across government. Browse or search for the agencies and programs you need on USA.gov or its Spanish language counterpart, GobiernoUSA.gov. If you'd rather talk to a person, the USAGov Contact Center at 1-844-USA-GOV1 is there for you.
How Can the USAGov Contact Center Help You?
The Contact Center handles more than 800,000 inquiries a year, answering questions for free on scores of topics including:
Scams and identity theft
Passports and travel warnings
Green Cards and immigration
Voting and elections
Call, E-mail, or Chat
The USAGov Contact Center is easy to reach:
Call toll-free: 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681) Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM ET to speak to an agent in English or in Spanish. After hours, on weekends, and during federal holidays, you can listen to recorded messages with information on popular topics like taxes, passports, and government benefits.
The Contact Center provides general government information. Depending on the nature of your question, an agent may be able to give you an immediate answer.
If the information you need is more specialized, the agent will give you the web URL or phone number (toll-free if available) and business hours of the government program or office that can answer your question.
The agent you talk to may ask a series of questions to make sure they understand the situation you're calling about so they can get you the best answers. Agents are not case managers and won't be able to take personal information from you or look up your records or applications with any government agency.
Whether you're affected by international events, or have a question close to home and don't know where to turn, the USAGov Contact Center can direct you to answers you can trust.
Learn more about USAGov, your guide to government programs and services at USA.gov/explore.
USAGov is a federal program that guides you to tips and tools in English and in Spanish from hundreds of government agencies, departments, and programs. We make it easier for you to find answers you can trust about government information and services--online, by phone, e-mail or chat, and in print.