The first two claims have been announced in the NFL’s billion-dollar concussion settlement, totaling $9 million in benefits, according to ESPN.

A payout of $5 million will be made for a qualifying diagnosis of ALS, while another $4 million will be paid out for a qualifying diagnosis of CTE.

The names of the former players in question have not been disclosed, but the amounts signify that both parties would have played a minimum of five seasons for the NFL and were diagnosed before the age of 45.

The ALS claim was approved on May 26, and the CTE claim on June 5.

The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the body responsible for overseeing the settlement process, was notified of the approved claims on Thursday.

There are more than 20,000 eligible class members with potential to add their names to the settlement. Of those, more than 14,500 registered prior to the August 7 deadline.

As of June 5, 146 former NFL players or their families had opted out of the settlement.

Christopher Seeger, co-lead class counsel for the retired NFL players, told ESPN, "We continue to be encouraged by the response from retired players and their families to the settlement, and are pleased that its vital benefits — including monetary payments — are now available.

"We implore all class members, even those who may feel healthy today, to register before the Aug. 7 deadline so they can be eligible for the benefits they deserve.''

Courtney Cameron is Editorial Assistant of Athletic Business.