DC 37s Health
and Security benefit package includes the largest prepaid legal services office
in the country. More than 65 staff lawyers offer legal advice and representation,
and prepare legal documents for members on a wide range of civil legal matters.
MELS lawyers work exclusively for members and their eligible dependents. Social workers are also available
to counsel you on case-related personal and family problems.
The MELS Benefit covers only employees and retirees residing in New York State. The geographic area covered by MELS is limited to those members and retirees residing in New York City, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County or Suffolk County (in zip code area 117 except for 11719, 11764, 11778, 11786, 11789 and 11792).
determine your eligibility for the benefit call MELS at (212) 815-1111.
[Note: Local 371 Members and members and retirees of Local 375 are covered
[Employees and retirees of the DC 37 Cultural Institutions
Health and Security Plan Trust are not eligible for the MELS benefit - see below.]
MELS Can Help Full-Time and Part-Time Employees
and Retirees with:
- Preparation of wills
- Debt matters, including bankruptcy (amount in dispute
must be over $500)
- Disputes with sellers of goods
and services if the amount in dispute is over $500
of inaccurate credit reports
- Billing disputes with
utilities (gas, electric, phone)
- Landlord actions
that could result in your eviction
from government agencies, like Social Security, food stamps, etc.
Divorce, separation and annulment
- Citizenship matters
- Review by a lawyer of a legal document
Benefits for Full-Time Employees and Retirees:
or selling your one-family house, co-op or condominium if it is your primary residence
- Buying your two-family house if it is your primary residence
over custody, visitation and paternity of children
where you are the parent in a child abuse, neglect, or foster care case (representation
of foster parents is limited to those having had custody of the child for more
than 24 months)
- Orders of protection in cases of
spouse abuse and other domestic violence (representation will not include cases
brought in Criminal Court)
MELS does not accept
criminal cases, or handle business problems. Representation is also not available
for defense of tort claims, such as libel, slander and personal injury caused
Local 371 Social Service Employees Union members are covered
by the locals Legal Services Fund, 817 Broadway, New York, NY 10003. Call
Local 375 Civil Service Technical Guild members
and retirees are covered by the local's Professional Employees Legal Service,
125 Barclay St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10007. Call (212) 815-7530.
employees and retired members covered by the DC 37 Cultural Institutions Health
and Security Plan Trust, are not eligible for the MELS benefit effective July