Dwight Harrison’s Battle for Benefits Confirms – Athletes Need to Protect Their Futures with Individual Disability Insurance Coverage, says Frank N. Darras

Ontario, CA (PRWEB) January 30, 2014

Dwight Harrison played in the NFL for 10 years from 1971 to 1980 and played for the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Colts and Denver Broncos. According to Yahoo Sports and GridIronGreats, The former 11-year veteran with the Broncos, Bills, Colts, Raiders was living in a FEMA trailer with no running water. Harrison suffers from head injuries and post-concussion syndromeshort-term memory, inability to concentrate and focus, severe depression. GGAF has provided funds for utilities, food and basic needs to Harrison. (Yahoo Sports, Retired NFL Players and Dementia: Brain Trauma Hits Hard After Football Career, December 4, 2011)

In 2007, Harrison filed a law suit* against the NFL Player Benefits in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on July 5. According to the complaint, Harrison received $ 1,440 a month as part of his retirement package. On July 3, Harrison said he was notified by phone that he would no longer receive benefits. The former football player said the pension payments are his only source of income. (Southeast Texas Record, Dwight Harrison sues NFL over pension, July 18, 2007)

*Case No. 1:07-cv-00473-MAC-KFG

Michael Rosenbergs firsthand account and viewpoint on SportsIllustrated.com says that in 1994, the trustees again acknowledged Harrison’s “total and permanent disability,” at age 45 … but they would not give him more money. Instead, they informed him that his “disorder has its origin in an incident that occurred while you were playing college football, not League football.” They also said that his depression was “of recent origin”. *

A case was filed, by Harrison on February 1, 2013 against Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan in Texas Eastern District Court. Harrison was 44 when this fight began. He is 65 now. Harrison is fighting to recover the benefits the NFL allegedly cut off. Read More.

The diagnosis of total and permanent disability is nearly a death sentence for so many people, athletes in particular. They have to learn to live their lives in an entirely different way and often suffer chronic side effects physically, financially and emotionally. Unfortunately, while gifted on the field, most of these people are ill-equipped for the fight of their lives, when benefits they were promised, are wrongfully delayed or denied, says Frank N. Darras, disability lawyer to the pros and expert on insurance law.

While Harrison’s plight is a heartbreaker, it is not surprising. Disability protection for athletes is a subject that should be first and foremost in their minds and brought to their attention by their agents. This type of disability insurance denial happens all too often and in 2014 there are tools available to help players have better protection and prevent an unnecessary fight, says Darras.

“I cannot stress enough that college players and pro athletes need to take steps now, to protect their futures, should an injury affect them for the rest of their lives,” says Darras.

Darras offers this advice for college and professional athletes:

Get a private individual disability insurance policy as there are less legal restrictions

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