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New York Jets legend Gastineau talks about head injuries

In the past, we have spoken about dangers in the workplace. American football fans in the New York area may remember long time New York Jet Mark Gastineau. Along with fellow defensive teammates Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam, Gastineau was part of the legendary "New York Sack Exchange", notorious in the 1980's for their successful pass rush. Gastineau was among the best of his era, retiring in 1988 with over 100 sacks in his career.

Football is a violent sport, and as we have learned over the recent few years, multiple impacts with the head can lead to lifelong issues down the road. Sadly, this is the case for Gastineau, 60 years old, who recently announced that last year he was diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. "I led with my head all the time," he said, referring to the multiple strikes to the head that likely led to his condition.

Included as part of the Social Security disability benefits program are qualifying mental conditions, including both Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. For Americans suffering from these disease, if it can be proven that the condition is expected to last at least a year or end in death, and that the condition is serious enough to prevent gainful employment, one may qualify.

One must prove eligibility when applying for the benefits. The process may seem overwhelming at first, especially for a victim already suffering and dealing with the injury, disease, or mental condition. One may want to speak with a legal professional for help in applying.

Source: 5 News, "Ex-Jet Mark Gastineau: Diagnosed With Dementia, Alzheimer's And Parkinson's," By CBS News, Jan. 21, 2017

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