faqs

Click each question below to learn more information. For any additional questions you may have, please contact the Legal Services Fund Office at 781-273-3939 or 1-800-852-3000 (Mass only).

Can my spouse use the Legal Services Fund benefit?

Yes. Your spouse can obtain legal services if you are legally married and your spouse lives with you provided the action is not against you (the member), and the matter is a covered service.  See Summary Plan Description for complete details on spouse benefits.

Who will have access to case files?

Your case information and whatever you discuss with your lawyer will be held in strict confidence.

What happens if I stop working in covered employment before my case ends?

In the event your eligibility ends while a case is pending, the case will be carried to its conclusion subject to the limitations in the Plan. See Summary Plan Description for complete details on Plan limitations and exclusions.

Can my spouse and I use the legal services benefit for our divorce?

No. Representation in divorce will be available to the union member only.

Can I use the legal services benefit for the purchase of a second home?

No. Representation for the purchase or sale of real estate is for your primary residence only.

Can I use the legal services benefit to prepare my will?

Yes. Representation includes the preparation of or a review and update of an existing will, power of attorney, or health care proxy.

If I live outside of New England or have a legal matter outside the New England states, can I use the legal services benefit?

Yes. Legal services for yourself or an eligible dependent outside of New England will be covered up to a maximum of $500.  See Summary Plan Description for Plan limitations and exclusions.

Can my children or step children use the legal services benefit?

Yes. To be considered eligible for Legal Services Fund benefits, your dependents must also be listed as dependents under the Heath and Welfare Fund. If that is the case, your dependents are eligible as long as your eligibility continues and their services do not conflict with your interests. The plan covers an unmarried child (including an adopted child, step child or foster child) under the age of 19 or, if a full-time student, under the age of 23.  See Summary Plan Description for defined “Dependents” description.

Will the legal services benefit cover probate of my parent’s estate if I am not the executor?

Yes. The Fund provides this service if the member is substituted for or added to the Petition of Probate as administrator.

Will the legal services benefit post bail for a member?

No. The Fund does not post bail for members.

Can I contact the office after hours?

Yes. The Legal Services Fund has a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week answering service that can reach a staff attorney in case of an emergency.

Can I use the legal services benefit if a claim is against or involves a Union Employer or Union Affiliate?

No. Such actions are specifically prohibited.  See Summary Plan Description for services available and limitations of the benefits.

Can I use the legal services benefit for Workers’ Compensation?

No. Workers’ Compensation is specifically excluded as a covered service.  See Summary Plan Description for services available and limitations on the benefits.

Can I use the legal services benefit for personal injury?

No. A claim for personal injury is specifically excluded as a covered service.

How many times can I use the legal services benefit?

You are allowed three cases per calendar year with unlimited legal advice regarding covered services. Check the Member Dashboard to confirm your eligibility.

How much notice does the attorney require for court appearances?

Members who have had more than 10 days notice of a court date, but require legal services with less than four days notice for our office will be provided with representation only if an attorney is available on hearing date.

Are there any charges or fees for the attorney?

No. The Legal Services Fund is a benefit provided to eligible Union members and their dependents at no charge.

Does the legal services benefit cover filing fees or Service of Process Fees?

No. Filing fees and service of process fees are paid for by the member.

I currently have an attorney helping me with my case. Can I switch and use an attorney from the Fund?

If you previously received representation from another attorney in a matter which commenced prior to you becoming eligible for services, the Plan will not represent you. See Summary Plan Description.

Can I use the legal services benefit if I am retired?

No. At this time the benefit does not provide legal services to retirees, unless you have 300 current working hours.

Can the legal services benefit help me review an agreement for routine purchases or repairs?

Yes. The Fund stresses the importance of reviewing such matters to prevent problems.

Does the legal services benefit cover appeals?

Appeals are not covered. No appeal will be taken from a decision of a court of administrative agency. See Summary Plan Description.