Trellis Pension and Retirement Rights

Trellis Pension and Retirement Rights provides free legal assistance to individuals that have questions related to their pensions or other retirement benefits. The project serves a six-state area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Working primarily with low-income seniors, Trellis assists individuals on issues related to traditional defined benefit plans, multi-employer union plans, as well as defined contribution plans. The project provides free legal representation in several areas:

• Representing individuals in the claims and appeals process to obtain pension benefits
• Helping individuals obtain spousal and survivor benefits
• Assisting individuals in correcting benefit miscalculations
• Obtaining plan documents
• Assisting with pension overpayment and recoupment actions
• Tracking down pension and retirement benefits from previous employers

Trellis Pension and Retirement Rights has assisted more than 2,000 individuals in the last ten years, recovering more than $8 million in retirement benefits and reduced debts for its clients during that time. By providing free legal counsel to individuals who are having difficulties accessing their retirement benefits, Trellis helps to promote the financial security and economic independence of older adults across the Midwest.

  • State(s) of Volunteer Opportunity: Minnesota
  • Area of law: Elder Law, Employment
  • Populations Served: Elderly
  • Opportunities For: Law school clinic, Law Students, Lawyers
  • Malpractice insurance is provided for volunteers: Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: No
  • CLE credit for pro bono: No
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Legal Research
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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