Legal

PRE-PAID LEGAL SERVICES PLAN (Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C.)

The Pre-Paid Legal Services Plan Replaces the Current Legal Voucher System

An enhancement to our legal benefit was necessary because so many of our members found the Fund’s legal voucher system costs prohibitive as lawyers were just too expensive and the reimbursements provided were too low.

The new Pre-Paid Legal Services Plan replaces the current legal voucher system. With this new plan, many of the legal benefits used by our members are now FREE. For certain legal services outside of this plan, the hourly or fixed attorneys’ rates will be offered at a significantly reduced rate!

According to the American Bar Association’s own statistics, if you are an average law –abiding United States resident you have a 37% chance of having a legal problem during the next twelve months. That’s better than a 1 in 3 probability that you will need an attorney in the next year!

Please read the Legal Services Plan Benefit Reference Guide carefully. You can call about Real Estate, Family Law, Personal Injury, Estates, Wills, and Traffic Matters. While most  legal matters will be covered at no cost, for those where fees are payable, they are at reduced rates.

We hope you enjoy this new Legal Services Plan.

ELIGIBILITY

Covered Members   

Covered members include all employees of Suffolk County covered by the collective bargaining agreement between the County of Suffolk and the Association of Municipal Employees for whom contributions are payable to the Suffolk County Municipal Employees Benefit Fund (herein “the Benefit Fund“); any other employees of the County of Suffolk, including, but not limited to the SC Corrections Officers Association, the SC Deputy Sheriff’s PBA, the administrative staff and exempt employees of Suffolk County, the administrative staff of the Suffolk County Community College, that may be deemed eligible by the Board of Trustees, for whom contributions are made payable to the Benefit Fund; certain judges and court administrative personnel of the County of Suffolk for whom contributions are made payable to the Benefit Fund; employees of other entities, such as the Vanderbilt Museum, the Industrial Development Agency, the SC Board of Elections, that may be deemed eligible by the Board of Trustees, for whom contributions are made payable to the Benefit Fund; employees of the Association of Municipal Employees and the Suffolk County Municipal Employees Benefit Fund for whom contributions are payable to the Benefit Fund.

Dependents  

Spouses, eligible domestic partners, as determined by the Fund, and dependents of covered members are covered for certain benefits as specifically described. Dependents, as defined by the Fund, are your spouse, unmarried dependent children who have not reached their l9th birthday and unmarried dependent children who are  full-time students at a college or university who have not reached their 25th birthday;  an unmarried child, regardless of age, who is incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental retardation or physical handicap who became so prior to the age of nineteen (19) and resides with and wholly depends upon the covered member for support.  Dependent children include  legally adopted children,  step-children and foster children who depend on, and reside with, the covered member for support.

CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE

If you become ineligible for Benefit Fund benefits, specific representation in progress on your behalf shall be continued by the Legal Services Plan to the conclusion of that specific matter already in progress, at the legal fees stipulated in this Booklet for any case, item, matter or service then being performed.  For all other matters not yet commenced, eligibility terminates on the last day of the month during which a member’s employment is terminated for the Legal Services Plan only.

HOW TO USE YOUR LEGAL SERVICES PLAN           

If you wish to consult a lawyer for benefits provided by the Legal Services Plan, call the Plan Attorney at the number provided.  An appointment will be scheduled for you, or you will receive a telephonic consultation regarding your legal problem immediately.  Your Legal Services Plan covers legal problems which arise anywhere in the Continental United States.

You will be provided with legal services by attorneys employed or retained by the Legal Services Plan.  There is no subscription or registration fee to be paid by any covered member in order to entitle him/her to the benefits of the Legal Services Plan.  In most instances, legal services are provided by a Plan employed or retained attorney.  However, in special situations, (Member vs. Member dispute, for example) you will be provided with legal services by an attorney provided from a standby panel.  Your relationship with the attorney will be that of attorney and client.  No member of the Legal Services Plan, or any Trustees of the SCME Benefit Fund/Legal Services Plan can interfere in this relationship.  All protections of confidentiality between you and your attorney will be preserved.

As a covered member, you are not required to use the benefits provided by the Legal Services Plan.  You are free, at all times, to hire your own attorneys, but neither the Benefit Fund nor the Legal Services Plan attorneys will pay your fees to a privately retained attorney.  The Legal Services Plan will not absorb or be responsible for any part of the fees or charges of attorneys other than the Plan designated attorney, except as set forth herein.

Instructions on How to Download the Document Questionnaires, a Requirement for Certain Benefits

With several legal benefits, the Legal Services Plan Benefit Reference Guide will ask you to: “Complete Your Confidential Will Questionnaire” and/or other document questionnaires prior to your appointment with your attorney. Just follow these simple instructions.

1) Go to FKMLAW.com

2) The Legal Services homepage is a box labeled “Plan Member Login”. Click on it.

3) Select your group from the drop down list and click “SCME Benefit Fund”.

4) Download the questionnaires for the legal service you are seeking.

5) Complete questionnaire and:

6)  Mail or Fax to:

Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C.

             330 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway

             Suite 400

             Hauppauge, NY 11788

             Fax # (631) 231-4732

If you have any questions regarding the documents or cannot download the forms, please call the Legal Services Plan at 1 (800) 832-5182.  You will be helped in completing the questionnaire.