TOP 10: Why You Got Turned Down for Benefits

Oct 16, 2010

We keep re-reading Gordon Wright’s case with its overwhelming evidence that he did indeed qualify for his 1968 season (click HERE to read that earlier post) and how the Disability Board, its directors AND the lawyers are still saying they’ve declared the last word on his case. We can only shake our heads in disbelief and answer with some Monday Morning Humor on how the NFL’s Disability and Pension Benefits Program is stacked up against you.


Top 10 Reasons Why You Got Turned Down for Benefits


10. You can still do sedentary work.

9. You managed to find work. Supporting your family to keep from living on the street is always a valid reason to disqualify you for Disability Benefits (but simply being disabled doesn’t qualify you).


8. Repeated hits to the head do NOT cause any permanent brain damage whatsoever in older retired players (- NFL’s Dr. NO Casson).


7. You didn’t play enough games to qualify.


6. Mary-Ann Fleming, Miki Yaras-Davis, Valerie Cross, Dee Becker and Sarah Gaunt don’t like you and hang up when you call them.



5. You weren’t a friend of Gene Upshaw or a client of Tom Condon.


4. Nolan Harrison III thinks you’re still too full of “venom and anger” to be disabled.


3. Your case is special and we’re asking The Groom Law Group to make up another new rule just so we can disqualify you:


You didn’t cross all of your T’s and dot all of your I’s!


2. YOUR doctor(s) is ALWAYS wrong. And besides, our specialists have to earn their fees and Super Bowl tickets.


And now, here’s the Number 1 Reason why you’re being turned down for Disability or Pension Benefits:


1. Because we can!


What other reasons did they use when you got disqualified? Post them up to the Comments section so everyone can compare notes with each other!


5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gregg Bingham
    October 17th, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Gregg Bingham

    I played against Joe D. for 15 years and Upshaw for 12.

    …and Gene saying, “I’m going to break his damn neck…” made me fall out…

    No way Gene could whoop Joe D. As Joe D. is too quick for Gene. Joe D. would float like a butterfly and sting him like a bee …and it wouldn’t last but a second!

    Gregg Bingham
    Houston Oilers
    1973 – 1984

  2. John Hogan
    October 18th, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    John Hogan
    To paraphrase the Banditos in Blazing Saddles “Reasons? We don’t need no stinkin’ reasons!”

    How many of you have received a letter from the DICC saying that your claim was denied because they were “deadlocked and therefore, deemed denied?” This is a total violation of the federal law which is supposed to govern the way the Plan adjudicates disability claims: ERISA The law requires that Plan fiduciaries not act arbitrarily, and thus, when they vote “thumbs down” on a claim, they are required by law to give specific, legitimate reasons for doing so – to put a player on notice of what the problem with the case is so that he has the chance to cure any such defect and prove the case. Sending a player for another neutral physician exam is a total abuse of this requirement.

    In addition to the above 10 somewhat sarcastic reasons for denying a disability claim, I would like to add a few more reasons why the Plan might seek to cease your disability:

    1. Your ex-wife is vengeful, and writes to the NFL that you are “just faking” it;
    2. You show up at a couple of charity golf tournaments;
    3. The Plan does video surveillance of you, and spies you using a cane – sometimes, but not always;
    4. The Plan does video surveillance and catches you getting in your car and driving to the grocery store;
    5. You volunteer to speak to young kids at a football camp.

    And as for Joe D. and Gene mixing it up – I sure would have liked to see that! If there was a Hall of Fame for Human Beings, surely Joe DeLamielleure would be in it!

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney & Advocate

  3. Dave Pear
    October 18th, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    Dave Pear
    Thank you, John!

    Doug Ell (Leader of the Groom Law Group that created the current disability debacle) and De Smith, Gene Upshaw’s replacement, are both highly-compensated lawyers. Maybe they’ll comment but don’t hold your breath!

    More reasons why disabled players are denied their earned disability benefits:

    1) Miki Yaris Davis actually said, “You’re not in a wheel chair.”
    2) The NFLPA Leadership does NOT represent retired players.
    3) All NFL doctors are allowed to act as vocational specialists even though they have no training or experience.
    4) The Retirement Board protects the interest of the Plan and NOT the disabled player or his family.
    5) The NFL is above the law and can do whatever they desire.
    6) ERISA Law does not apply to the NFL.
    7) According to the NFLPA Leadership, the NFL has the “MOST GENEROUS retirement package in all professional sports.”
    (However, the problem is ONLY Gene Upshaw and his friends are allowed access to these benefits. (Gene said, “It IS the law”). Plus you must have played AFTER 1993 because anything before that doesn’t count! “It is the law” according to Gene.)
    8) Roger Goodell (after 30 years on the job) does not know what the issues are with retired players and he wasn’t even sure if he was the Chairman of the Board? But he’s looking into it and will get back with us while he and John Madden ride around in Madden’s bus and talk about how to make the game safer.
    9) The NFL, NFLPA Leadership or the Retirement Board will neither confirm nor deny that there is a disability plan.

    Dave & Heidi Pear

  4. George Visger
    October 18th, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    George Visger
    11.) Your statute of limitations to file ran out while lying in intensive care having your 8th of 9 NFL-caused emergency brain surgeries. For some crazy reason, you elected to focus on survival (food and paying rent on your apartment), instead of resubmitting your applications for benefits for the 4th time.

    God bless you, De and Miki.

    George Visger
    Angry Brain-Damaged Wildlife Biologist/Motivational Speaker
    Visger & Associates, Environmental Consulting

    Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

  5. Gordon A. Wright
    October 18th, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets
    The God of Obadiah has reward for all Evildoers no matter the cloak they wear!

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970