We are pleased to describe your Welfare Fund benefits in this book. It is our objective to acquaint you fully with the complete range of benefits to which you are entitled and to make the process of obtaining these benefits as simple and efficient as possible. At its inception, the Welfare Fund had only one benefit: a limited dental program. Now the Welfare Fund provides a wide spectrum of benefits including: Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Burial, Disability, Hearing Aid Appliance, Optical, Abortion,Prescription Drug, Prosthetic Appliance and Annual Diagnostic Benefits,as well as its own Dental Offices and Dental Plan, Podiatry Services and Pension Counseling Services.The Fund, as always, continues its leadership in providing a progressive benefit program. The ability of the Welfare Fund to supplement the basic City health package is based upon the collective strength of the Social Service Employees Union Local 371, and the careful management of the Fund's assets by the Fund itself. Developing and financing a plan of benefits is only one part of Fund administration. It is the tradition of the Welfare Fund to pay all eligible claims promptly. It is our goal and desire to ensure that the Fund functions smoothly and effectively at all times. In conclusion, we take this opportunity to reaffirm that the Fund exists solely to serve its covered members.This is your Fund, these are your benefits, and we urge you to utilize this coverage fully in time of need.
Legal Services Fund
We are pleased to describe your legal service benefits, which comprise one of the most comprehensive prepaid legal services plans in the country. Since its first pioneering prepaid legal services plan was introduced in 1975, the Fund's benefits have proved to be an essential contribution to the well-being and peace of mind of thousands of covered members. The benefit program described on the following pages includes a number of new improvements designed to make the plan as responsive as possible to your potential needs for legal counsel. As reaffirmed by United States Supreme Court Justice Black in the famous case of Gideon vs. Wainright: "(The assistance of counsel) is one of the safeguards of the Sixth Amendment deemed necessary to insure fundamental human rights of life and liberty.The Sixth Amendment stands as a constant admonition that if the constitutional safeguards it provides be lost, justice will not 'still be done'." Because attorneys' services can be so important, we urge you to read this section carefully and keep it handy for future reference.The Fund provides a General Consultation Benefit that allows you to discuss any matter whatsoever with an attorney, as well as a variety of benefits covering specific, more complex legal matters. You are entitled to up to three General Consultations each year with a panel attorney, at no out-of-pocket expense.The legal advice you receive could serve to ease your mind concerning current circumstances and could prevent serious legal problems from developing. The Social Service Employees Union Local 371 Legal Services Fund holds an established position among the premier providers of prepaid legal services benefits.
The Educational Fund was created through the strength of collective bargaining, and has provided benefits to covered members for more than forty years. The objective of the Trustees of the Educational Fund has always been to provide the best training and educational benefits possible.The Fund's benefit program therefore has been modified from time to time in response to changes in the covered members' educational needs, and in accordance with changes in the financial condition of the Fund. The program described in this book is designed to help covered members of all educational levels defray the cost of additional training and education.The Fund has always provided the maximum benefits possible, and will continue to serve you in this tradition.