If you incur a substantial disablement from NFL activities, but are not totally and permanently disabled, you may be eligible for “Line of Duty” (LOD) disability benefits.
A LOD disability will be considered “permanent” if it has persisted or is expected to persist for at least 12 months from the date of its occurrence, or is expected to result in death within 12 months, and if you are not an active player.
What is a “substantial disablement”?
” A “substantial disablement” is a permanent disability that satisfies ANY ONE of the following criteria:
- For orthopedic impairments, there is:
- a 38% or greater loss of use of the entire lower extremity;
- a 23% or greater loss of use of the entire upper extremity;
- an impairment to the cervical or thoracic spine that results in a 25% or greater whole body impairment;
- an impairment to the lumbar spine that results in a 20% or greater whole body impairment;
- any combination of lower extremity, upper extremity, and spine impairments that results in a 25% or greater whole body impairment.
In accordance with the AMA Guides, up to three percentage points may be added for excess pain in each category above. The range of motion test will not be used to evaluate spine impairments.
- The injury results in a 50% or greater loss of speech or sight.
- The injury results in a 55% or greater loss of hearing.
- The injury is the primary or contributory cause of the surgical removal or major functional impairment of a vital organ or part of the central nervous system.
What are NFL Activities?
- Pre-season games
- Regular season games
- Post-season games
- Activities supervised by an NFL club, including all required or directed activities like team practices
Application deadlines for LOD benefits depend on your number of Credited Seasons. If you have 4 or fewer Credited Seasons, the Plan Office must receive your application within four years after you cease to be an active player. If you have five or more Credited Seasons, you have a number of years equal to your number of Credited Seasons in which to submit your application after you cease to be an active player. For example, a player with ten Credited Seasons has 10 years after he ceases to be an active player to submit his application.
Filing a Claim for Benefits
If you have questions about Line of Duty Disability Benefits or would like to file a claim, please click here.