If you are a sports fan, you may have noticed, over the last few years, an increase of awareness when it comes to sports head injuries. If you have been watching the National Football League recently, you may have also noticed that the concern is serious, and new rules are in place to penalize, fine and even suspend players who jeopardize another player’s health by making contact with their heads.

Though the NFL has been making progress in protecting players on the field, they have been going through a battle with retired players who suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Thirty one retired NFL players recently won a class action lawsuit alleging that the NFL did not properly offer payments to victims suffering CTE related to their time playing football. The United States Supreme Court rejected the NFL’s appeal of the $1 billion dollar settlement.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a degenerative brain disease often caused by repeated trauma to the head. Considering the regularity of NFL football players tackling, sacking and blocking one another, it comes as little surprise that players may be suffering from this disease. Unfortunately, CTE cannot be diagnosed officially until after a victim dies.

The terms of the settlement also covers funding for development of treatments of other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The Social Security Administration has services to specifically help Americans who suffer from long-term or permanent diseases, including brain diseases, that prevent them from seeking or maintaining gainful employment. To see if you qualify, you may want to speak with a law firm familiar with Social Security Disability benefits.