(CNN)The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for the NFL concussion settlement to go into effect by declining to take up two cases from a smaller subset of former players who challenged the terms of the agreement.
Supreme Court clears the way for NFL settlement benefit process to move forward
The settlement was reached between the NFL and a class of more than 20,000 retired players.
In legal briefs lawyers for the NFL called the settlement "historic" and said it provides "real, substantial, and immediate benefits to all class members, including an uncapped monetary fund through which any retired player who is diagnosed with a qualifying neurocognitive or neuromuscular impairment or condition can receive a financial award."
The lawyers said the agreement is expected to fund nearly $1 billion in financial awards to eligible class members.
The settlement applies to all players who retired on or before July 7, 2014. It had been held up by some former players who challenged it terms. But the Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up their appeal and cleared the way for the benefit process to move forward.
"The decision means that , finally, retired NFL players will receive much-needed care and support for the serious neurocognitive injuries they are facing," said Christopher Seeger, the co-lead counsel for retired players in the concussion-related lawsuits.
"Despite the difficult health situations retired players face today, and that many more will unfortunately face in the future, they can take comfort in the fact that this settlement's significant and immediate benefits will finally become available to them and last for decades to come," he said.