By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer

The first two claims in the NFL’s billion-dollar concussion settlement were announced, a total of $9 million in benefits.

The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania overseeing the process was notified Thursday that the claims were approved.

The payouts were for $5 million for a qualifying diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and $4 million for a qualifying diagnosis of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). The names of the former players were not disclosed as part of the filings.

Those amounts mean that both individuals played a minimum of five NFL seasons and were diagnosed before their 45th birthdays.

Because CTE can only be diagnosed once someone has died, the player’s estate would be collecting that payout, approved on June 5. THE ALS claim was approved on May 26.

More than 14,500 class members out of a potential well above 20,000 have registered for benefits ahead of the Aug. 7 deadline. That can include former players or their families.
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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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