About the plan and this summary

The Trustees of the Western Conference of Teamsters Legal Services Trust Fund recognize that union members may be hesitant to use the services of an attorney because of concern about legal fees. Under this Plan, legal fees are paid on the basis of a schedule established by the Board of Trustees and accepted by participating attorneys. The Trustees urge you to take full advantage of the opportunity to have an attorney on your side.

The purpose of the Summary Plan Description is to help you better understand your Plan benefits. The Summary does not contain every detail of the Plan and does not constitute a contract. The full texts of the Plan and the Trust Agreement, and not the summary, are the controlling documents at all times. If you have specific questions concerning the Plan, it is available for your review at the Plan Administrator’s Office, where qualified personnel will be happy to answer your questions.

The term “you” is referring to an employee who is eligible for benefits under this Plan based on contributions made to the Fund by his or her employer.

Eligibility - Who is eligible? When does coverage begin? How long does coverage continue?



Coverage is available to regular full-time and part-time employees for the month two months after each month of work for which contributions have been paid to the Western Conference of Teamsters Legal Services Trust Fund in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement.


Coverage is available to employees for the month two months after each month in which the employee has been compensated by an employer for at least eighty (80) hours and had contributions made to the Fund on his or her behalf.


1. Upon termination of your employment with a contributing employer, coverage will end on the last day of the month two months after the last month for which contributions based on your employment are made to the Trust Fund, provided that any legal service already in progress shall continue in the same manner as though coverage were in effect.

2. If your coverage under the Plan would stop because you can no longer work as a result of an illness or injury, and your employer therefore stops making contributions to the Trust Fund for you, the Plan will provide benefits for three (3) months from the date coverage would otherwise stop.

Documentation of your illness or injury must be submitted to the Plan Administrator. Matters already in progress on the date coverage stops under this provision will be completed as described in paragraph 1 above.

3. Benefits for your dependents stop under the following circumstances:

a. Benefits for all of your dependents stop when your coverage terminates,

b. Benefits for your spouse stop when you become legally separated or divorced from your spouse.

c. Benefits for your partner stop when your relationship with the individual who was your partner no longer satisfies every one of the criteria included in the Partnership Affidavit that must be completed before benefits are provided to your partner.

d. Benefits for a child stop when the child marries or reaches age 19, or

e. Benefits for any dependent stop when the dependent becomes eligible for benefits as an employee under the Plan.

4. If you die, your dependents remain eligible for three (3) months from the end of the month in which you die, except in matters involving your estate. With respect to your estate, coverage will continue beyond the three (3) months so that your eligible dependents can use the probate and administration benefit in connection with your estate. Children who reach age 19 or marry within three months after your death are not eligible after the earlier of the date they reach age 19 or marry.


An eligible dependent is someone related to the participant in one of the following ways:

1. Spouse: your legal husband or wife.

2. Partner: an individual of either gender with whom you co-habitate, and share an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring, if the relationship satisfies the criteria in the Partnership Affidavit that must be completed before benefits will be provided. Partner includes, but is not limited to, your partner through civil union or registered domestic partnership.

3. Unmarried children under the age of 19 who:

a. Are your children by birth, legal adoption, or legal guardianship, who reside in your household and are dependent on you for financial support.

b. Are children of your spouse or partner, residing in your household and who are dependent on you for financial support.

c. Do not reside with you but for whom you have legal responsibility (e.g., children of divorced parents, children in training institutes, children in school).

4. Unmarried children over the age of 19 who became disabled before age 19 by a physical or mental condition, medically determined, which prevents the child from engaging in gainful activity and which can be expected to be of a long and indefinite duration, or result in death, provided that the child resides with you, and continues to be dependent on you for financial support.


Certain matters that arose before you became eligible for coverage may be covered, provided that you or your eligible dependents have not consulted with an attorney before the effective date of coverage. Coverage of such pre-existing matters will be provided only at the discretion of the Trustees.

Cost not covered by the plan

• Bank charges and bank legal fees for preparation of mortgage documents

• Title reports

• Fines, penalties or fees which have been charged against the member

• Private investigations

• Polygraph tests

• Adoption agency fees

• Medical examinations and tests

• Abstract updating

• Copies of driving records and police reports

• Postage and copy fees charged by the attorney

• Long distance calls

• Witness fees

• Courier fees

• Immigration application fees