John Hogan: NFL Disability
Attorney John Hogan
As you well know, with regard to the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player disability plan, “NFL” stands for “No Fair Law”. While I hope to write a more extensive paper soon on the on-going problems with the Plan, one glaring in problem I have seen a few times lately is where players filed their disability claims “too soon”. Under the prior CBA, for claims filed prior to September 1, 2011, for a player who was found to be disabled within 15 years of his last credited season, the Plan had to make a separate determination whether the disability was the result of NFL injuries. If not, the player was awarded the lowest paying category of benefits. However, thanks to the last CBA, for disability applications filed after September 1, 2011, players no longer had to show that their disability was NFL related. If they filed their application within 15 years of their last credited season, and they were found disabled, they received the “Inactive A” category (which is equivalent to the former ‘football degenerative’ category)
I have seen several players who applied under the old CBA, and were only granted the former “inactive” (i.e. lowest paying) category, as it was determined that their disability was not due to NFL football. However, it is still less than 15 years since they left the League, and if they applied now, they would be eligible for $70,000 more per year as there is no requirement to show that their disability was caused by NFL injuries!
To be fair to these players, I think they should be “grandfathered” into the higher paying category of benefits.
John V. Hogan
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of John V. Hogan
1325 Satellite Boulevard|Suite 1002
Suwanee, GA 30024
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