Playing in the National Football League (NFL) often places professional football players at significant risk for serious, if not permanent, injury. It is no surprise that the NFL has taken steps to financially protect players in the event of permanent injury resulting in an inability to work. In this case, the “inability to work” is not just the inability to play football, but also the inability to perform any job in the national economy.
NFL Disability Benefits
There are three types of NFL disability benefits that were created in an effort to protect current and former NFL players:
- Total-and-Permanent Disability Benefit: The total-and-permanent disability benefit includes a minimum benefit of $22,084 if you are an active player, or $13,750 if you are no longer playing. This benefit is payable for life or until the individual has recovered. This type of benefit is available for active or inactive players who are unable to engage in any occupation.
- Line-of-Duty Disability Benefit: The line-of-duty disability benefit provides a minimum benefit of $3,500 per month for a period of no longer than 90 months.
- Neurocognitive Disability Benefit: The neurocognitive disability benefit provides a minimum benefit of $2,625 up to a maximum of $4,500 per month for a period of no longer than 15 years or until the player reaches age 55.
To qualify for any of these NFL disability benefits, a current or former NFL player must file an application online. If you believe you qualify for the NFL’s total-and-permanent disability, you should first consider applying for Social Security Disability benefits. This is because the NFL has adopted the same regulations for determining disability as the Social Security Administration.
Social Security Disability Benefits
In 2007, the NFL was highly criticized for its negligence in evaluating players for disabling injuries. As a result of this criticism, the NFL decided to adopt the Social Security Administration’s framework or standards in determining if a player qualifies for NFL disability benefits. The Social Security Administration’s framework requires proof that an individual is unable to maintain employment, not only regarding the work performed in the past fifteen years but also regarding other work in the national economy.
If you are a retired NFL player suffering from a severe medical condition that precludes you from working, before applying for the NFL disability benefits, you should first apply for Social Security Disability benefits. At LaBovick Law Group, we provide free consultations to anyone qualified to pursue a claim for NFL disability benefits, Social Security Disability benefits, or both. Call us today, so we can get your application started and help you get the disability benefits you deserve!