Former NFL wide receiver Wes Welker criticized the league on social media on Saturday after receiving an email about the status of a claim he submitted for line-of-duty disability benefits.
According to the email from the NFL, the Disability Initial Claims Committee put Welker’s line-of-duty claim on hold. In addition, they asked him to provide further documentation to prove that the surgeries he had after retiring were brought on by football injuries.
The NFL Disability Plan was created to safeguard the post-career prospects of retired players. While the system should benefit the players in the long run, former players have been critical of the system’s success in the past.
As millions of disabled Americans will tell you, receiving disability benefits is a difficult process. There are numerous appointments, phone calls, and forms that are part of the initial process. Many people are denied multiple times as well.
Around 65% of all disability claims filed with the Social Security Administration are refused on the first application. If you keep submitting additional applications rather than submitting an appeal, Social Security will continue to deny your request for disability benefits at that rate.
I have received SSI since 2016. SSI allows me to be able to pay my rent. I only receive $871 a month. Last year, I had to complete a continuing disability review or CDR. If, during a CDR, Social Security determines that your disabilities have improved to the point where you can work, you will no longer be eligible for disability payments. Thankfully, I was found eligible for my benefits to continue.
Disability benefits need to be expanded for the Americans who need them most. Without SSI, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills Unfortunately, the process can be difficult. Wes Welker is far from the only person who is frustrated with a broken system.
McDaniel, Mike. “Wes Welker Slams NFL over Issue with Disability Benefits.” Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated, 27 Aug. 2022, https://www.si.com/.amp/nfl/2022/08/27/wes-welker-slams-nfl-over-issue-with-disability-benefits.
Perrigo, Steven. “Answers to Frequently Asked Social Security Disability Questions.” Kiplinger, Kiplinger, 10 Aug. 2022, https://www.kiplinger.com/retirement/social-security/605052/answers-to-frequently-asked-social-security-disability-questions.
Trudeau, Joyce. “Does Social Security Disability Deny Everyone the First Time They Apply?” Disability Secrets, Nolo, 21 Jan. 2022, https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/does-social-security-deny-you-the-first-time-you-apply-for-disability.html.