(BPT) - After years of waiting, the NFL concussion settlement affecting thousands of retired NFL players is now open for registration, which means former players, their family and their representatives can begin to take advantage of the benefits the settlement provides. To be eligible, all retired players and their representatives must register by Aug. 7, 2017 by visiting www.nflconcussionsettlement.com.
The NFL concussion settlement provides benefits to thousands of retired NFL players who joined the league because of their unrelenting 'love of the game.' However, after a career playing in the NFL, many of these retired players left the game with lifelong devastating brain damage due to the many concussions, 'dings' and other hard hits they sustained while playing on the field.
Today, these retired NFL players suffer daily from neuro-cognitive illnesses that often leave them bedridden and unable to recall some of their most sacred memories. At the same time, their loved ones are forced to watch them suffer from these debilitating brain injuries while simultaneously grappling with significant medical bills. Unfortunately, even though these retired players dedicated their blood, sweat, and tears to the game, most do not have the financial support or assistance they need to deal with these conditions.
Though it is too late to reverse what happened to these retired players, the NFL concussion settlement provides a lifeline to those who suffer from neuro-cognitive illnesses today. It provides immediate compensation for those who are struggling or those who had struggled with conditions like dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or ALS without having to prove their diagnosis was a result of NFL football. Family members or representatives of deceased retired players who suffered with such conditions may also be eligible to submit a claim.
The settlement will also help and give peace of mind to those who are currently healthy but fear they may develop symptoms decades into the future. For instance, eligible retired players will be provided with a free 'baseline assessment,' which is a battery of tests to see how they are doing so they can keep tabs on their neurocognitive health and better understand if symptoms start to emerge. They will be eligible for compensation if they develop a qualifying condition within the next 65 years.
Those who may remain skeptical after enduring other benefits programs can find comfort in the fact that the settlement is not run by the NFL. Instead, the settlement's benefit programs will be run by independent administrators and qualified doctors, working under the court's supervision. The NFL will not decide who is eligible for benefits under this agreement.
If you are a retired NFL player or a relative of one, remember that registering for the settlement is a required first step to receive any benefits at all. Registration is a requirement to submit a claim for a potential monetary award or receive a baseline assessment. Failing to register before the Aug. 7, 2017 deadline will make you ineligible to receive any settlement benefits. Again, to register for the settlement with step-by-step instructions, or to learn more about its benefits, please visit www.nflconcussionsettlement.com.