UAW Legal Services Plan staff are proud to drive American/Union made cars.
Plan staff attorneys are represented by AFSCME and support staff are represented by OPEIU.

 



New Legal Services Opening
A new Legal Services Plan opened on January 25, 2017 for eligible FCA, Ford, and General Motors members. It is called UAW-FCA-Ford-General Motors Legal Services Plan. An eligible member can open a new case by calling 1-800-482-7700. Under this new Plan, an eligible UAW member can receive "office work" legal services for a variety of legal matters including wills, deeds, powers of attorney, credit reporting, consumer contract questions, real estate advice relating to buys and sales and advice on uncontested divorces and family matters. In addition low cost referrals will be provided on some other types of cases such as bankruptcy, probate, guardianship and litigation matters. The old Legal Services Plan (which has not been able to open new cases since January 1, 2014) is continuing to work to conclude those cases that remain open. It is important to understand that the new Legal Services Plan has a new name and different benefits.
If you have any questions about a prior case opened before January 1, 2014, feel free to contact the National office in Detroit at 800-482-7700.
Affordable Access to Justice
Having a prepaid legal services plan provides the following benefits to workers, their families and their employers:
  • 1) Costly legal problems are avoided when people have access to advice and consultation from a knowledgeable legal adviser;
  • 2) Productivity is enhanced and absenteeism is reduced when workers can focus on their jobs, not their legal problems;
  • 3) Access to the legal justice system (at a very low cost per member) is opened to low and middle income workers who are often disproportionately affected by certain types of consumer fraud, mortgage scams and other legal problems.
  • The UAW Legal Services Plan addressed workers' problems in just such a cost effective manner handling almost 5 million over the years. The majority of legal problems were handled by providing advice and drafting documents. Other legal problems involved more extensive work – but are still handled in a cost-effective manner.
  • Statement from the Director
  • “Wealthy people have lawyers. Government funds help poor people to get legal assistance. Working families have often been unable to afford assistance with everyday legal issues and problems.
  • “For 32 years, UAW Legal Services Plan has pioneered one answer to providing legal help to working families. Through its offices and its panels of private attorneys, the Legal Services Plan has provided legal assistance and representation for a variety of basic legal problems, from buying a home to drafting a will to probating the estate of a parent to addressing debt and foreclosure. With efficient practices, the Plan kept costs down, generally costing approximately $6 per month for each member – much less than the cost of just about any other type of benefit.
  • “Although the Plan did not and cannot possibly cover all types of legal problems, (Court representation for divorces, for example, has never been covered by UAW Legal Services Plan) it did cover many of the types of matters that concerned working people – providing members with access to the legal justice system and legal help which they would not otherwise have had.
  • “The Plan is proud of our record of providing high-quality legal services to UAW workers at a low cost. We served Union members and their families on almost 5 million matters through the years. We saved countless homes and helped members with other types of personal matters. We hope that our model will inspire future efforts to bring affordable legal services, and therefore real access to justice, to working families.”
  • Dolores M. Galea Director
  • Why a Legal Services Plan
    The purpose of a prepaid legal services plan is to give working and middle income people access to the legal justice system. Wealthy people and corporations can afford legal advice and representation. Many poor people can find legal help at a legal aid office. Working and middle income Americans have the greatest trouble affording and even locating help for their everyday legal needs. The UAW Legal Services Plan and other prepaid legal services (there are hundreds throughout the country) are based on one idea – a well-run legal services plan can provide basic legal assistance, that would otherwise be unaffordable, in a very cost-effective manner.
    Types of Services Available
    Under the 2011 labor agreements with GM, Ford and Chrysler, the Legal Services Plan stopped taking new cases at the end of December, 2013. Cases opened before that date are being completed. The new Plan is a different Plan and covers different legal matters. Here are some matters that may be covered by your new legal services plan:
  • 1. Will and Estates. Everyone needs to plan their estate. That means a will, which directs how assets will be distributed after death. Some people can also benefit from a living trust, though there is work involved in using it correctly. And most people are better off giving instructions on how they want to be taken care of if incapacitated, and at the end of life, through a living will or power of attorney.
  • 2. Power of Attorneys and Deeds. An attorney can review your current documents, discuss if new ones are needed and prepare new ones if necessary.
  • 3. Low cost referrals. Even when a matter is not covered for Staff Attorney assistance, you may be entitled to a low cost referral to a private attorney. Your Legal Services Plan has entered into contracts with hundreds of private attorneys to represent eligible UAW members for a reduced rate. This may be helpful to you if you have any of the following legal problems: Adoption, a contested family matter, a Guardianship, a Collection matter, a Bankruptcy, a Real Estate litigation matter, and others.
  • 4. Social Security Disability for Retirees. Did you know that you can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits even if you retired from the plant and became disabled after your retirement (but usually before age 65)? You may feel that there is no point to applying for Social Security Disability in these circumstances but there can be advantages to you.
  • 5. Fixing credit report problems. If you haven’t sought credit lately, you may not know if your credit report is accurate. An attorney can advise you on how to obtain a free credit report and will examine the credit report and help you fix incorrect information.
  • 6. Obtaining a mortgage loan modification. Federal programs, for those who qualify, can mean the difference between keeping or losing your house. But they don’t make it easy to get a modification, no matter how you try or what your circumstances. An attorney, working with you and often your housing counselor, can help when you are doing what you should but the loan is not getting modified.
  • Tax law changes protect non-spouse beneficiaries of retirement accounts
    After recent tax law changes, the beneficiary of your 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) will soon be able to roll over the account without a tax penalty, even if he or she is not your spouse. Currently, if you own a 401(k) or IRA, only your spouse after your death can defer taxes on the inherited account by rolling it over to his or her 401(k) or IRA. If your beneficiary is not your spouse, the normally required immediate payout of the funds from the account, typically in a lump sum, could result in a significant tax bite. The Pension Protection Act of 2006, which became law on August 17, 2006, has eliminated this tax consequence. Read more below
    Nursing Home Care
    Concerned that the cost of nursing home care will deplete their assets, some senior citizens try to plan their estates so as to qualify financially for Medicaid nursing home benefits. A strategy some have used is to gift or transfer property to beneficiaries before entering the nursing home, so that the property will not be counted as an asset in the Medicaid application process. Such a transfer normally triggers a "Medicaid disqualification period." Also called a "transfer penalty period," this is a length of time in which the applicant is disqualified from benefits and is calculated to approximate the number of months of nursing home care the gifted property could have paid for. Read More Below
    Why Legal Services were Taxed
    Did you ever wondered why at the end of the year, your W-2 or 1099 told you that you had to report approximently $80 of income for your legal services benefit? [NOTE: This is not to say that you were required to pay $80 for this benefit. Instead it meant that you were required to pay taxes on that amount based on your individual tax bracket which ranges from 15% to 33%. That meant that for most members the actual tax was between $12 and $25 depending on your tax bracket.] The answer is that the United State Congress took away favorable tax treatment for group legal services plans, effective June 30, 1992. Prior to that time the money that it takes to run the plans, the employer’s payments to the legal services plan, was tax exempt to you. While it was income, just like wages and other benefits such as health, dental and vision coverage, there was a special section of the tax code, which kept you from being taxed on it. That provision, called Section 120 of the Internal Revenue Code, expired on June 30, 1992 and has never been reenacted.
     
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