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Former NFL players to keep disability benefits

The NFL and the players association have come to an agreement that will allow players who receive disability benefits from the league to also receive Social Security benefits, the two sides announced Thursday.

The league and the NFL Players Association agreed as part of the collective bargaining agreement in 2020 to reduce the league-paid disability benefits by the amount the players received from the government. The new financial agreement was set to take effect in January 2024, delayed after pushback from affected retired players and some union leaders.

“The NFL was responsive to the NFLPA’s proposal and has agreed to make the necessary change to prevent those specific former players from having a reduction in this benefit,” the league and union said jointly.

“Our Executive Committee understands the importance and legacy of our union’s support of former players in need, and we are proud that we fought for a solution to preserve this benefit for former players who need it the most,” the NFLPA said in a statement Thursday.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the decision applies to the 400 or so players already in the retirement system. In the future, players ruled totally disabled by a doctor hired by the Social Security Administration will see their league benefits reduced by the amount of the government payout.

The Times said that while some of the players who receive pay for total disability get as much as $22,000 a month, most receive about half that. Those who Social Security doctors have determined qualify for payments receive $3,200 a month from the government.

–Field Level Media

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