Career-Ending Disability Claims
In a previous article – Insurance Coverage in the NHL – I outlined the coverage provided for players through the current CBA. If a player is to end their career due to a disability, they are entitled to a one-time benefit as long as their injury meets the following parameters:
“Disability shall be considered career-ending if the Player is continuously disabled for a period of 12 months and permanently prevented from playing professional hockey.”
So, if your career ends because you are injured and can no longer perform your duties as a professional hockey player, you are entitled to a benefit ($1,000,000 if you’re under 31 and have played more than 41 games).
In a recent conversation with NHLPA-certified agent Joe Caligiuri from CAL Sports Management, we discussed this disability insurance policy. Simply put, we concluded that not enough players understand their coverage or what benefit they may be entitled to.
Only a few successful disability claims have been processed in the past few years. However, this isn’t because claims are being denied. Instead, players or their agents are not taking the necessary steps to file a claim.
The CBA outlines that a claim must be provided within 90 days of the injury or sickness. However, there is a two-year grace period if the claim is provided “as soon as was reasonably possible.”
The critical thing to note is that in no event will a claim be accepted later than two years from the injury or sickness.
As financial advisors or agents representing professional hockey players, our job is to ensure they are taken care of. Because hockey is such a grueling and physically demanding sport, in our experiences, we rarely come across a player who’s played for ten years or longer that doesn’t have injuries. A player’s career is often cut short by a few years because their body is too banged up. However, in most of these cases, players or their representatives are not filing disability claims to which they may be entitled.
If you’ve played in the NHL and feel your career is cut short due to a disability, have a conversation with your agent or advisor and see if submitting a disability claim makes sense for you. You may not be eligible for the claim, but if approved, you could receive a tax-free benefit of up to $1,000,000!
As always, I’m happy to discuss this further if you have any questions. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 204-223-2166.
NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement 2020.