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Frequently Asked Questions

Updated NFL concussion settlement FAQs and eligibility requirements

The NFL Concussion Settlement financially compensates those former players that are truly injured. It provides medical testing and treatment for all retired players, including players who are experiencing symptoms now and those players who are currently asymptomatic.

Under the settlement, the NFL will fund baseline examinations, monetary awards, and education programs. The NFL’s obligations under the Monetary Award Fund are NOT capped at any specified amount. This means that once the Mandatory compensation program becomes active (on or about April 2017), funds will be available to any retired player who currently has, or who develops a qualifying neuro-cognitive condition for the next 65 years.

Benefits and eligibility criteria are summarized below.

  • Who is eligible to participate in the settlement?

      All NFL Football players who, prior to July 7, 2014 (1) have retired, formally or informally, from playing professional football with the NFL or any Member Club, including AFL, World League of American Football, NFL Europe League and NFL Europa League players, or (2) were formerly on any roster, including preseason, regular season, or postseason, of any such Member Club or league and no longer are under contract to a Member Club and are not seeking active employment as a player with any Member Club, whether signed to a roster or signed to any practice squad, developmental squad, or taxi squad of a Member Club are eligible to participate in the Settlement and submit a claim for medical benefits and if applicable, financial compensation.

  • Do retired NFL players need to register with the settlement claim administrator to participate in the settlement now or anytime within the next 65 years?

      All Retired NFL Players are required to register within 180 days of the start of the registration process, which in this case begins on February 7, 2017 and ends on August 7, 2017.

      All players must register to become eligible to receive medical benefits under the Settlement as described below. All players are required to register in order to submit a claim for financial compensation now or anytime within the next 65 years. Failure to register will preclude a retired player from participating in the Settlement benefits.

  • What is the baseline assessment program?

      The Baseline Assessment Program (BAP) allows every Retired NFL Player who has earned at least a half of an eligible season, to be seen by an independent board certified neuropsychologist or board certified neurologist to receive a base line cognitive assessment. The medical evaluations available to retired players will include a baseline level examination; the identification of any symptoms of cognitive decline; and a diagnosis of a qualifying condition if one exists. If there is no current diagnosis of a qualifying condition, the doctor will provide a report that may be used to establish a diagnosis in the future. The Baseline Assessment Program is the core mechanism for which a player’s claim will be handled. If a player decides to get evaluated, treated, or diagnosed by a physician outside of the Baseline Assessment Program approved doctor list, that player may be financially penalized by a reduction of 10% from any financial award.

  • Who is eligible to receive medical testing, treatment and diagnosis under the settlement agreement?

      Whether a player played a practice season, or 10 years in the League, the player may register to receive a comprehensive medical exam and then receive follow up treatment if applicable.

      Eligibility includes all retired players who have earned at least one half of an eligible season. (Eligible season calculation discussed below)

  • What can a player expect from the baseline assessment program?

      Retired NFL players will be eligible to receive a baseline neuropsychological and neurological examination, which will use a variety of tests to determine whether they are currently suffering from any type of neurocognitive impairment. If the player’s testing shows a level of cognitive impairment that warrants treatment, treatment will be covered. If the player’s baseline examination show that the player is suffering from a qualified diagnosis than that player will proceed to the financial compensation component of the Settlement.

  • Can a retired player receive additional medical testing after his initial medical examination?

      Yes. Players diagnosed with Level 1 Neuro-cognitive Impairment (no formal diagnosis of dementia, however exhibit symptoms of cognitive impairment) will receive supplemental medical benefits including further testing and treatment. The initial comprehensive evaluation will at a minimum provide a baseline for future testing and treatment.

      Players diagnosed with Level 1 Neuro-cognitive Impairment (no formal diagnosis of dementia, however, the player exhibits symptoms of cognitive impairment) will receive follow-up medical treatment and supplemental medical benefits including further testing.

  • Does a retired player have any specific time limit to receive a baseline medical examination?

      Retired players will have from two to ten years, depending on their age as of the Settlement’s effective date (January 7, 2017) to have a baseline medical examination conducted.

      Retired players 43 and older must receive a baseline examination within two years of the date the Baseline Assessment Program becomes available to all players. The Baseline Assessment Program is anticipated to become available to retired players no later than May 7, 2017.

      Retired players under 43 must be examined within 10 years of commencement of the testing or before they turn 45 years old, whichever is earlier.

  • Does a retired player have any specific time limit to submit a claim for monetary compensation?

      Retired NFL Players and Representative Claimants for retired players who have received a formal diagnosis by the effective date of Settlement (January 7, 2017) must submit their claim for a monetary award within two years of receiving the diagnosis.

      Retired NFL Players and Representative Claimants for retired players who are diagnosed after the effective date of Final Settlement (January 7, 2017) have two years from the date of their diagnosis to file their claim. This deadline may be extended up to an additional two years upon a showing of substantial hardship.

  • What retired players are eligible to receive a monetary award?

      Monetary awards are available to retired players who are diagnosed with: ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Early Stage Dementia (known as Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment), Moderate to Severe Dementia (known as Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment); and Death with CTE if the player’s death occurred prior to July 7, 2014.

  • How does the claim administrator determine the dollar amount of a retired player’s financial award?

      The exact amount of a Retired Player’s monetary award will be independently calculated based on the following factors:

      1. The age of the Retired Player at the time he is formally diagnosed with a qualifying condition;
      2. The number of eligible seasons that the Retired Player played in the NFL;
      3. Whether the Retired Player has suffered a prior stroke from a cognitive injury or the Retired Player has suffered from a traumatic brain injury that was unrelated to football.

      *Retired players do not need to prove that their qualifying medical condition was caused by a concussion to receive compensation.

  • The steps required to calculate a financial award

      To determine the dollar amount of a Retired Player’s financial award, the Claim Administrator will calculate the dollar amount of the award by first taking the maximum Settlement amount allowable under the Settlement for the retired player’s qualifying diagnosis and then applying any appropriate “discounts” relating to “the player’s age at the time of his formal diagnosis” and “the number of eligible seasons the retired player is entitled to receive”. Additionally, if the retired player has had a stroke or prior traumatic injury stemming from a to cognitive cause, the amount of the award is reduced further.

      STEP ONE: Determine the maximum dollar amount of the financial award that is available for the appropriate diagnosis below:

      • Early Stage Dementia (level 1.5) – $1.5 Million Dollars
      • Moderate to Severe Dementia (level 2) – $3 Million Dollars
      • Parkinson’s Disease – $3.5 Million Dollars
      • Alzheimer’s Disease – $3.5 Million Dollars
      • ALS – $5 Million Dollars
      • Death with CTE – $4 Million Dollars

      STEP TWO: Apply the appropriate deduction from “the age at the time of diagnosis chart (set forth below) from the maximum award dollar amount set forth above to calculate the reduced dollar amount of the award.

      The Settlement uses the term “age at the time of diagnosis”. This is the age of a Retired Player at the time that he was formally diagnosed with his qualifying medical condition. The older a player is when he is diagnosed, the more of a discount that will apply. The “age factor” discounts are as follows:

      STEP THREE: Determine the number of eligible seasons that the player is entitled to.

      To determine the dollar amount of a player’s financial award, a calculation of the player’s “eligible seasons” must first be determined. For purposes of the Settlement’s financial award calculation, a retired player earns one (1) eligible season for each season where he played on an NFL, AFL or World League club’s “active list” for either three or more regular season or post-season games. The Retired Player earns additional eligible seasons if he was on an “active list” for one or more regular or post-season games and then spent an additional two regular or post-season games on the injured reserve list or inactive list due to a concussion or head injury.

      A retired player also earns one-half of an eligible season for each season where he was on an NFL or AFL or World League Member Club’s practice, developmental, or taxi squad for at least eight games, but did not otherwise earn an eligible season.

      Once a retired player’s eligible season calculation has been determined, the eligible season number can then be applied to the chart below to determine the percent of any dollar reduction the player would be subject to.

  • Who establishes the network of approved doctors who will be evaluating, treating and diagnosing retired players?

      Baseline examinations will be conducted through a nationwide network of qualified and independent medical providers (not NFL-appointed doctors). The medical component of the Settlement is headed up by an independent medical Claim administrator who is appointed by the court. The NFL has NO control over the testing, treatment, or diagnosis of any retired player.

  • What type of doctor can make a qualifing diagnosis?

      Section 6.3 of the Amended Settlement Agreement defines the credentials for the physicians who are qualified to render Qualifying Diagnoses for purposes of monetary award claims, depending on the date when the Qualifying Diagnosis is rendered and, for Death with CTE, the type of injury. All Qualifying Diagnoses made before the Effective Date must be reviewed by a member of the Appeals Advisory Panel:

      (a) Before July 7, 2014: Board-certified neurologists, board-certified neurosurgeons, other board-certified neuro-specialist physicians, or otherwise qualified neurologists, neurosurgeons, or other neuro-specialist physicians may make a Qualifying Diagnosis (except for Death with CTE).

      (b) From July 7, 2014, through the Effective Date: Board-certified neurologists, board-certified neurosurgeons, and other board-certified neuro-specialist physicians may a make Qualifying Diagnosis (except for Death with CTE).

      (c) After the Effective Date: Only Qualified MAF Physicians or, in limited circumstances, Qualified BAP Providers, as designated by the Parties and the Claims Administrator, will be able to make a Qualifying Diagnosis (except for Death with CTE).

      (d) Deceased Before the Effective Date: If a Retired NFL Football Player died before the Effective Date, a Qualifying Diagnosis (except for Death with CTE) will be accepted if rendered while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a physician who has sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology or the field of neurocognitive disorders.

      (e) Death with CTE: A Qualifying Diagnosis of Death with CTE shall be made only for Retired NFL Football Players who died prior to the Final Approval Date, through a post-mortem diagnosis by a board-certified neuropathologist of CTE before the Final Approval Date, provided that a Retired NFL Football Player who died between July 7, 2014, and the Final Approval Date, shall have until 270 days from his date of death to obtain such a post-mortem diagnosis.

  • What is a qualified MAF provider?

      A Qualified MAF Physician is a board-certified neurologist, board-certified neurosurgeon, or other board-certified neuro-specialist physician, who is part of an approved list of physicians authorized to make a Qualifying Diagnosis Within 90 days after the Effective Date, the Claims Administrator will establish and maintain a list of Qualified MAF Physicians eligible to make Qualifying Diagnoses.

  • May settlement class members or their attorneys retain their own physicians?
  • If a player is deceased, how does a representative claimant prove that the player suffered a qualifying condition prior to his death?

      The proof a Representative Claimant must submit to show that a deceased player received a Qualifying Diagnosis depends on the date of the player’s death and the type of injury.

      If the player dies before the Effective Date, the Representative Claimant may establish Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or ALS by submitting medical records showing a diagnosis of such condition made before the player died. The diagnosis must have been made by properly credentialed physicians, as described in Section 6.3(e) of the Amended Settlement Agreement.

      The Representative Claimant of a player who died before the Final Approval Date may establish Death with CTE by submitting medical records showing a diagnosis of Death with CTE made by a board-certified neuropathologist after the player’s death and before the Final Approval Date. If the player died between July 7, 2014 and the Final Approval Date, his Representative Claimant has until 270 days after the player’s death to obtain the post-mortem diagnosis. Players who died on or after the Final Approval Date are not eligible for benefits for Death with CTE.

      All claimants, including Representative Claimants of deceased players, also must submit a Diagnosing Physician Certification signed by the physician who made the Qualifying Diagnosis, except that Representative Claimants of players who died before the Effective Date do not have to submit a Diagnosing Physician Certification if the physician who made the Qualifying Diagnosis also died before the Effective Date, or was deemed legally incapacitated or incompetent prior to that date, but they do have to submit evidence of the physician’s death, incapacity or incompetence, and of his or her qualifications.

      A Representative Claimant of a player who died before January 1, 2006 also must establish that the claim is not time-barred.

  • What are the different levels of neurocognitive impairment?

      The level of neurocognitive impairment will be established in part with evidence of decline in performance in at least two areas subject to clinical evaluative testing, provided one of the areas is executive function, learning and memory, or complex attention, and related functional impairment. In addition to ALS, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, various levels of neurocognitive impairment (dementia) are covered by this Settlement.

      Level 1 Neurocognitive Impairment

      Cognitive decline that entitles a player to receive medical treatment but is not great enough for the player to immediately receive financial compensation

      (a) For Retired NFL Football Players diagnosed through the BAP, a diagnosis of Level 1 Neurocognitive Impairment must meet the criteria set forth in subsections (i)-(iv) below:

      (i) Concern of the Retired NFL Football Player, a knowledgeable informant, or the Qualified BAP Provider that there has been a decline in cognitive function.

      (ii) Evidence of moderate cognitive decline from a previous level of performance, as determined by and in accordance with the standardized neuropsychological testing protocol annexed in Exhibit 2 to the Settlement Agreement, in two or more cognitive domains (complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual- spatial), provided one of the cognitive domains is (a) executive function, (b) learning and memory, or (c) complex attention.

      (iii) The Retired NFL Football Player exhibits functional impairment generally consistent with the criteria set forth in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s Clinical Dementia Rating scale Category 0.5 (Questionable) in the areas of Community Affairs, Home & Hobbies, and Personal Care.

      (iv) The cognitive deficits do not occur exclusively in the context of a delirium, acute substance abuse, or as a result of medication side effects.

      Level 1 Neurocognitive Impairment, for the purposes of this Settlement Agreement, may only be diagnosed by Qualified BAP Providers during a BAP baseline assessment examination, with agreement on the diagnosis by the Qualified BAP Providers.

      Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment

      Cognitive impairment entitling a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum $1.5 Million Dollars

      (a) For Retired NFL Football Players diagnosed through the BAP, a diagnosis of Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment must meet the criteria set forth in subsections (i)-(iv) below:

      (i) Concern of the Retired NFL Football Player, a knowledgeable informant, or the Qualified BAP Provider that there has been a severe decline in cognitive function.

      (ii) Evidence of a moderate to severe cognitive decline from a previous level of performance, as determined by and in accordance with the standardized neuropsychological testing protocol annexed in Exhibit 2 to the Settlement Agreement, in two or more cognitive domains (complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual-spatial), provided one of the cognitive domains is (a) executive function, (b) learning and memory, or (c) complex attention.

      (iii) The Retired NFL Football Player exhibits functional impairment generally consistent with the criteria set forth in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale Category 1.0 (Mild) in the areas of Community Affairs, Home & Hobbies, and Personal Care. Such functional impairment shall be corroborated by documentary evidence (e.g., medical records, employment records), the sufficiency of which will be determined by the physician making the Qualifying Diagnosis. In the event that no documentary evidence of functional impairment exists or is available, then

      (a) there must be evidence of moderate to severe cognitive decline from a previous level of performance, as determined by and in accordance with the standardized neuro-psychological testing protocol annexed in Exhibit 2 to the Settlement Agreement, in the executive function cognitive domain or the learning and memory cognitive domain, and at least one other cognitive domain; and

      (b) the Retired NFL Football Player’s functional impairment, as described above, must be corroborated by a third-party sworn affidavit from a person familiar with the Retired NFL Football Player’s condition (other than the player or his family members), the sufficiency of which will be determined by the physician making the Qualifying Diagnosis.

      (iv) The cognitive deficits do not occur exclusively in the context of a delirium, acute substance abuse, or as a result of medication side effects.

      (a) For living Retired NFL Football Players diagnosed outside of the BAP, a diagnosis while living of Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment, i.e., early dementia, based on evaluation and evidence generally consistent with the diagnostic criteria set forth in subsection 1(a)(i)-(iv) above, made by a Qualified MAF Physician or a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(b)-(d) of the Settlement Agreement.

      (b) For Retired NFL Football Players deceased prior to the Effective Date, a diagnosis of Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment, i.e., early dementia, based on evaluation and evidence generally consistent with the diagnostic criteria set forth in subsection 1(a)(i)-(iv) above, made while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, or by a physician with sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology or neurocognitive disorders, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(c)-(e) of the Settlement Agreement.

      Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment

      Cognitive impairment entitling a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum $3 Million Dollars

      (a) For Retired NFL Football Players diagnosed through the BAP, a diagnosis of Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment must meet the criteria set forth in subsections (i)-(iv) below:

      (i) Concern of the Retired NFL Football Player, a knowledgeable informant, or the Qualified BAP Provider that there has been a severe decline in cognitive function.

      (ii) Evidence of a severe cognitive decline from a previous level of performance, as determined by and in accordance with the standardized neuropsychological testing protocol annexed in Exhibit 2 to the Settlement Agreement, in two or more cognitive domains (complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual- spatial), provided one of the cognitive domains is (a) executive function, (b) learning and memory, or (c) complex attention.

      (iii) The Retired NFL Football Player exhibits functional impairment generally consistent with the criteria set forth in the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale Category 2.0 (Moderate) in the areas of Community Affairs, Home & Hobbies, and Personal Care. Such functional impairment shall be corroborated by documentary evidence (e.g., medical records, employment records), the sufficiency of which will be determined by the physician making the Qualifying Diagnosis. In the event that no documentary evidence of functional impairment exists or is available, then

      (a) there must be evidence of severe cognitive decline from a previous level of performance, as determined by and in accordance with the standardized neuropsychological testing protocol annexed in Exhibit 2 to the Settlement Agreement, in the executive function cognitive domain or the learning and memory cognitive domain, and at least one other cognitive domain; and

      (b) the Retired NFL Football Player’s functional impairment, as described above, must be corroborated by a third- party sworn affidavit from a person familiar with the Retired NFL Football Player’s condition (other than the player or his family members), the sufficiency of which will be determined by the physician making the Qualifying Diagnosis.

      (iv) The cognitive deficits do not occur exclusively in the context of a delirium, acute substance abuse, or as a result of medication side effects.

      (a) For living Retired NFL Football Players diagnosed outside of the BAP, a diagnosis while living of Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment, i.e., moderate dementia, based on evaluation and evidence generally consistent with the diagnostic criteria set forth in subsection 2(a)(i)-(iv) above, unless the diagnosing physician can certify in the Diagnosing Physician Certification that certain testing in 2(a)(i)-(iv) is medically unnecessary because the Retired NFL Football Player’s dementia is so severe, made by a Qualified MAF Physician or a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(b)-(d) of the Settlement Agreement.

      (b) For Retired NFL Football Players deceased prior to the Effective Date, a diagnosis of Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment, i.e., moderate dementia, based on evaluation and evidence generally consistent with the diagnostic criteria set forth in subsection 2(a)(i)-(iv) above, unless the diagnosing physician can certify in the Diagnosing Physician Certification that certain testing in 2(a)(i)-(iv) was medically unnecessary because the Retired NFL Football Player’s dementia was so severe, made while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, or by a physician with sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology or neurocognitive disorders, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(c)-(e) of the Settlement Agreement.

       Alzheimer’s Disease

      Qualifying condition that entitles a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum of $3.5 Million Dollars

      (a) For living Retired NFL Football Players, a diagnosis while living of the specific disease of Alzheimer’s Disease as defined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition (ICD-9), the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10), or a diagnosis of Major Neurocognitive Disorder due to probable Alzheimer’s Disease as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), made by a Qualified MAF Physician or a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(b)-(d) of the Settlement Agreement.

      (b) For Retired NFL Football Players deceased prior to the Effective Date, a diagnosis of Major Neurocognitive Disorder due to probable Alzheimer’s Disease consistent with the definition in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), or a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, made while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, or by a physician with sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology to make such a diagnosis, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(c)-(e) of the Settlement Agreement.

      Parkinson’s Disease

      Qualifying condition that entitles a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum of $3.5 Million Dollars

      (a) For living Retired NFL Football Players, a diagnosis while living of the specific disease of Parkinson’s Disease as defined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition (ICD-9), the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases,

      (b) For Retired NFL Football Player10th Edition (ICD-10), or a diagnosis of Major Neurocognitive Disorder probably due to Parkinson’s Disease as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), made by a Qualified MAF Physician or a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(b)-(d) of the Settlement Agreement.

      (c) For Retired NFL Football Players deceased prior to the Effective Date, a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, made while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, or by a physician with sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology to make such a diagnosis, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(c)-(e) of the Settlement Agreement.

      Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

      Qualifying condition that entitles a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum of $5 Million Dollars

      (a) For living Retired NFL Football Players, a diagnosis while living of the specific disease of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease (“ALS”), as defined by the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition (ICD-9) or the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10), made by a Qualified MAF Physician or a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(b)-(d) of the Settlement Agreement.

      (b) A retired player who was deceased prior to the Effective Date of the final Settlement Agreement ( the fact that no further appeals are available) , a diagnosis of ALS, made while the Retired NFL Football Player was living by a board-certified or otherwise qualified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or other neuro-specialist physician, or by a physician with sufficient qualifications in the field of neurology to make such a diagnosis, as set forth and provided in Sections 6.3(c)-(e) of the Settlement Agreement will receive financial compensation.

      Death with CTE (Applies only to Retired Players diagnosed prior to July 14, 2014)

      Qualifying condition that entitles a player to receive financial compensation of a maximum of $4 Million Dollars.

      A player who develops any condition listed above within the next 65 years may submit a financial claim once they are formally diagnosed. A qualifying diagnosis must be made by a board-certified neurologist, neurosurgeon, or neuro-specialist who has been approved by the independent Settlement Claims Administrator. Approved doctors are not chosen, employed, or associated with the NFL. Approved physicians are part of a national network of doctors chosen by the Claims administrator. The network of doctors is extensive and the list will be made available to retired players by March 2017.

  • What is a representative claimant?

      A retired player’s authorized representative, who is authorized by a court or other official competent jurisdiction under applicable state law, to represent the interests of  a deceased, legally incapacitated or incompetent Retired NFL Football Player.

  • What is a derivative claimant?

      A Derivative Claimant is spouse, parent, child, or any other person who under applicable state law assert the right to sue independently because of their legal relationship with a living or deceased Retired NFL Football Player. (For example, a spouse who may be entitled to a small claim due to the injury of their husband who is a Retired NFL Football Player.

  • What does the settlement mean when it refers to sub-classes?

      The Settlement separates Retired NFL Players into separate groups called subclasses. What subclass a player fits in depends on the Retired NFL Player’s injury status prior to July 7, 2014 (THE DAY THE SETTLEMENT RECEIVED PRELIMINARY APPROVAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT).

      Subclass 1 includes: Retired NFL Football Players who were not diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia), Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) or Death CTE prior to July 7, 2014, and their Representative Claimants and Derivative Claimants.

      Subclass 2 includes: Retired NFL Football Players who were diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., moderate Dementia) or Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) prior to July 7, 2014, and their Representative Claimants and Derivative Claimants; and Representative Claimants of deceased Retired NFL Football Players who were diagnosed with ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Level 2 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e. Dementia) or Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment (i.e., early Dementia) prior to death or who died prior to July 7, 2014 and received a diagnosis of Death with CTE.

  • Must a retired player be vested under the nfl retirement plan to receive settlement benefits?

      No. A retired player can be a Settlement Class Member regardless of whether he is vested or not (due to credited seasons or total and permanent disability under the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan).

  • If a retired player’s condition worsens over time, may he apply for a supplemental payment?

      Yes. If a retired player receives a monetary award based on a qualifying diagnosis, and later is diagnosed with a more severe qualifying diagnosis, he will be eligible for a larger monetary award than previously received. An example would be a player who is diagnosed with early dementia and is entitled to a $1.5 million Dollar award and later is diagnosed with more severe dementia that entitles him to a $3 million Dollar award, he may recover the difference of $1.5 million Dollars upon the showing of the more severe diagnosis.

  • Can a retired player’s involvement in the settlement jeopardize or lower their current or future nfl disability payments?

      No. The NFL has agreed to not have a concussion claim reduce or affect a player’s other benefits (i.e. Disability Payments, Neuro-Cognitive Benefits, and/or 88 Plan Benefits. In simple terms, there is no effect on any NFL benefit policies by being involved in the Concussion Settlement. There are NO discounts or offsets. This is a truly beneficial clause for retired players because they can still collect or apply for all forms of disability, including 88 Plan Benefits, and neuro-cognitive benefits with no financial penalty to the player. Whether it is total impairment; line of duty; or neurological/cognitive benefits, now or in the future, any concussion claim is considered separate and apart.

  • Can a decision or denial of benefits be appealed?

      Yes. If a player believes that the Claim Administrator unfairly denied his injury award or that the award received was incorrect, then the player or their attorney can appeal and reverse the decision by proving clear and convincing evidence.

  • How does a claimant file a claim on behalf of a deceased player?

      The proof a Representative Claimant must submit to show that a deceased player received a Qualifying Diagnosis depends on the date of the player’s death and the type of injury. If the player dies before the effective date of the Settlement Agreement, the Representative Claimant may establish Level 1.5 Neurocognitive Impairment, Level 2 Neuro-cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or ALS by submitting medical records showing a diagnosis of such condition made before the player died. The diagnosis must have been made by properly credentialed physicians, as described in Section 6.3(e) of the Settlement Agreement.

      The Representative Claimant of a player who died before the Final Approval Date may establish Death with CTE by submitting medical records showing a diagnosis of Death with CTE made by a board-certified neuro-pathologist after the player’s death and before the Final Approval Date. If the player died between July 7, 2014 and the Final Approval Date, his Representative Claimant has until 270 days after the player’s death to obtain the post-mortem diagnosis. Players who died on or after the Final Approval Date (which has not yet occurred) are not eligible for benefits for Death with CTE.

      All Claimants, including Representative Claimants of deceased players, also must submit a Diagnosing Physician Certification signed by the physician who made the qualifying diagnosis, except that representative claimants of players who died before the effective date (January 7, 2017) do not have to submit a diagnosing physician certification if the physician who made the qualifying diagnosis also died before the Effective Date, or was deemed legally incapacitated or incompetent prior to that date, but they do have to submit evidence of the physician’s death, incapacity or incompetence, and of his or her qualifications.

      A Representative Claimant of a player who died before January 1, 2006 also must establish that the claim is not time-barred.

For Further Information

Contact Mitnick Law Office by telephone at 856.427.9000 or by email at nfl@mitnicklawoffice.com. You may also submit any questions by filling out the form on our contact page.