Legal Services Overview

Eligibility

A union member of a Massachusetts local shall be eligible to receive the services provided under the Plan if, at the time they seek such services, the member has been employed by an employer participating in and contributing to the Massachusetts Laborers’ Legal Services Fund, and who has accumu­lated 300 recorded hours of employment (or 450 recorded hours of employment for union members of a Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont local) with one or more of the contributing employers.

When Your Participation Starts

Eligibility to receive the services provided under the Plan commences as of the first day of the second calendar month following the month in which the union member accumulates the requisite recorded hours of employment and will continue during each calen­dar month provided the union member has completed at least requisite hours of active employ­ment with one or more employers contributing to the Massachusetts Laborers’ Legal Services fund for twelve (12) consecutive months, excluding the month in which the claim arose and the preceding month. For example, if you have 300 hours as of June 1, your participation would start on August 1.

Who is covered

To be considered eligible for Legal Services Fund benefits, your dependents must also be listed as dependents under the Health and Welfare Fund. If that is the case, your dependents (as defined below) are eligible as long as your eligibility continues and their services do not conflict with your interests. Each covered family of a Massachusetts local shall be entitled to representation in not more than three (3) legal matters (two (2) legal matters for each covered family of a Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont local) during any one calendar year. This limitation shall not apply to benefits available under General Section A on page five, which provides for benefits for advice and/or consultation, drafting and review of minor legal documents and legal research.

Eligible dependents include:

  • A spouse, not legally separated and residing with the member.
  • 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.
  • An unmarried child under the age of 30 who is totally disabled, depends on your support and lives with you.

Matters Outside of New England

The Fund will cover up to a maximum of $500 of fees for legal services outside of New England. The benefit will be paid directly to the law firm and under no circumstances will the benefit be paid to the member.

Appealing Denial of a Benefit

Within 60 days of the denial of the benefit, you must write to the Chair of the Review Committee with a copy to the Plan Administrator. Your appeal must include what your protest is and why you think the denial is wrong.

Address:
Chair of the Review Committee
Massachusetts Laborers’ Legal Services Fund
1400 District Avenue, Suite 100.
Burlington, MA 01803.

When Your Participation Ends

When you no longer meet the eligibility requirements above or when the Trustees determine that you have engaged in conduct that warrants termination of benefits (i.e., fraudulently obtaining benefits or failing to reimburse the Fund for non-covered disbursements made on your behalf).

Available Services

This section provides an overview of the services provided under the Legal Services Fund benefit. The complete details for each are in the Summary Plan Description. The Plan may refuse to provide services in any matter the Plan Administrator believes to be frivolous or without substantial merit.

General Services

Advice and consultation, drafting and review of legal documents and legal research.

Consumer Transaction and Debt

Representation in claims and lawsuits arising from a member’s consumer transactions for the purchase or sale of personal goods and services.

Domestic Relations

Representation in divorce or annulment proceedings. Note: representation in divorce or other adversarial proceedings will be available to the union member only.

Criminal Matters

Includes bail hearings, probation surrender hearings, probation probable cause hearings, clerk’s hearings, arraignments, juvenile matters, pre-trial conferences and hearings, motion hearings, bench and jury trials in both misdemeanors and felonies.

Vehicle and Traffic Matters

Traffic violations, hearings and appeals involving loss of driver’s license.

Real Estate Transactions

Representation for the purchase or sale of your primary residence.

Wills and Related Documents

Will preparation or review and update of an existing will, power of attorney or health care proxy.

Probate

Representation in probating an estate in cases where the member, spouse or other eligible family member has died.

Landlord and Tenant

Representation of a member in an action brought in District or Housing Courts by the landlord for rent, eviction or other proceedings involving your primary residence.

Immigration

Representation for the member or eligible dependent in applications for citizenship.

Claims Against Own Insurance Company

Representation for claims arising out of delays or failing to pay you pursuant to your own insurance contract (auto, homeowners or residence insurance policy).

Monetary Claims

Insurance claims assistance and plaintiff property damage claims.

Bankruptcy

Representation in the preparation of Voluntary and Involuntary Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 petitions.

Administrative Matters

Advice and counsel on securing your rights and benefit entitlements from government agencies (i.e., Social Security Administration)