Group Access Legal Service Plan

The NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Group Access Legal Service Plan is only available for purchase by local associations, their benefit funds and employers. This plan is not available to individual members, who can click here for information on the endorsed voluntary Legal Service Plan.

The Group Access Legal Service Plan provides participants with free or discounted legal services for personal legal matters.

The law firm of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. has been the service provider for the Group Legal Service Plan since 1980 and acts as the Legal Plan’s National Legal Office. Their firm has grown from five attorneys to more than 40 attorneys since that time, and the network of participating referral attorneys now exceeds 500 firms in New York State and several hundred firms in other jurisdictions across the U.S.

This plan is only available for purchase by local associations, their benefit funds and employers. The Access Plan covers all group participants, their spouses or domestic partners who are living with the Plan participant, unmarried dependent children under the age of 19 (or under 25 if the child is dependent upon the Plan participant and enrolled as a full-time student), and dependent parents. The optional Elder Law Rider covers all group participants and their spouses (or domestic partners), parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, and grandparents-in-law.

The Group Access Legal Service Plan costs $35 per plan participant per year. The cost of the optional Elder Law Rider is an additional $15 per plan participant per year.

Click here for information about purchasing this program through your local association.

For more information, contact Member Benefits at 800-626-8101 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST).

Participants receive access to attorneys who will answer legal questions, write letters and review documents relating to personal legal matters. Contact is via a toll-free number to the National Legal Office of Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C.

Free services to your group include telephone advice; two, free, hour-long office consultations per year; a toll-free 24-hour Hotline for emergencies; legal letters written and phone calls made on participants’ behalf; document review; a Simple Will and Reciprocal Will; the Preventive Law Guide newsletter; and estate planning seminars or Will Days.

Participants can have legal representation from participating attorneys around the country for $265 per hour or a 30% discount from their usual fee (whichever is lower).

A maximum fee schedule guarantees rates will not exceed certain amounts for a number of routine legal matters, such as an uncontested name change, sale or purchase of primary residence and a first offense misdemeanor.

All Access Legal Service Plan contributions made by an employer or benefit fund are taxable and must be included on the participant’s W-2 form. This will subject the amount included on the W-2 Form to withholding of income taxes and Social Security taxes.

An optional Elder Law Rider can be purchased for the Access Legal Service Plan, which provides access to a national panel of attorneys who specialize in elder and health law, estate planning, wills, trusts, pre-nursing home planning, probate, and conservatorship. Participants who use the services of Elder Law attorneys receive a 20% discount off their usual fees. The rider also provides one free Legal Security Package per participant or covered dependent per year. Package includes a Health Care Proxy, Living Will and Simple Will.

Once the decision has been made to purchase the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Access Legal Service Plan on a group basis, you must follow the steps below to implement the plan:

1. Send letter of intent to purchase plan to the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust.
2. Provide contact name/address/phone number.
3. Contact will be mailed a copy of Local Association’s membership list.
4. Contact makes additions and deletions to list so that list reflects eligibility for legal plan and returns it to Member Benefits.
5. Membership cards and certificates of coverage mailed to either contact person or members’ home addresses.
6. Membership presentation.
7. Schedule Will Day or Estate Planning Seminar.
8. Monthly billing.

The NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Group Access Legal Service Plan is provided by Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. and is administered by the NYSUT Member Benefits Trust.

The Group Access Legal Service Plan provided through Feldman, Kramer & Monaco, P.C. is a NYSUT Member Benefits Trust (Member Benefits)-endorsed program. Member Benefits has an endorsement arrangement of 15% of annual participation fees received for this program. All such payments to Member Benefits are used solely to defray the costs of administering its various programs and, where appropriate, to enhance them. Member Benefits acts as your advocate; please contact Member Benefits at 800-626-8101 if you experience a problem with any endorsed program.