USAGov Contact Center: Five Most Popular Questions from May to August 2019

October 07, 2019   Posted by: Fabiola Herrera and Nancy Tyler

business people group with  headphones giving support in  help desk office to customers, manager giving training and education instructions

USAGov manages a contact center that answers questions from the public via phone and chat in both English and Spanish. We analyze the types of questions we get so we can learn about our users and their needs. This data allows us to continuously revise and improve the ways we’re providing services to our audience, not just through the USAGov Contact Center, but online at, and through outreach and social media as well. 

Between May and August, we analyzed more than 13,000 chats and phone calls in both English and Spanish. We tagged all these inquiries by popular topic area.

Here’s what we learned:

Top 5 Most Popular Categories:

  1. Immigration - including citizenship and travel
  2. Consumer Issues - such as complaints against a service or product and scams
  3. Financial Help and Benefits - “Financial Help” refers to aid available from the federal government and other sources, while “Benefits” refer to government programs that help people pay for basic living expenses, including Social Security benefits.
  4. Military Issues - like how to enlist in the U.S. military
  5. Taxes - including the status of 2018 tax season refunds

Common Questions Received in English by Category

  • Immigration 
    • What kind of license do foreign nationals need to drive in the U.S.? Can they use their driver’s license from their home country?
    • How can I get vital records such as a birth or marriage certificate?
    • How do I apply for a U.S. Visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery?
  • Consumer Issues
    • How do I submit a complaint against a landlord?
    • How can I tell if someone who contacts me saying they’re from Social Security, the IRS, or the U.S. military overseas is actually a scammer?
  • Financial Help and Benefits
    • Can I get financial help to repair a house?
    • How do I apply for Social Security benefits?
    • Where do I get a copy of my Social Security award letter to apply for rental assistance?
    • How do I report the loss of a Social Security card?
  • Military Issues 
    • How do I enlist in the military?
    • How do I register with Selective Service to get a job in the federal government or enroll in an educational program?
    • Where do I get information about a military member?
  • Taxes
    • When will I receive my tax refund?
    • How do I verify that a check I received from the Department of the Treasury is real? 

Common Questions Received in Spanish by Category

  • Immigration 
    • How long can I stay in the U.S. as a tourist?
    • Where do I get a permission form for a minor traveling alone, with one parent, or with a family member?
    • How do I find out about the Diversity Visa Lottery?
    • Where can I learn about the I-94 form and entering and exiting the U.S?
  • Consumer Issues
    • Where and how do I complain about poor service offered by car dealers, travel agencies, banks, and other companies? 
  • Business 
    • How do I import or export a product to or from the U.S.? (This audience asked more business questions than the English speaking audience.)
  • Military Issues
    • How do I enroll in the military?
    • Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to join the military? 

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USAGov is working to create the digital front door for the United States government. Follow our progress and help us learn as we go!

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