PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hundreds of Black NFL retirees denied payouts in the $1 billion concussion settlement now qualify for awards after their tests were rescored to eliminate racial bias.

Changes to the settlement made last year are meant to make the tests race-blind. The use of “race norming” in the dementia testing made it more difficult for Blacks to prove they had the kind of cognitive decline that qualifies retired players for awards that average $500,000 or more.

Nearly 650 men have had their dementia tests automatically rescored, according to a report released Friday by the law firm handling claims against the NFL. The retirees had met the other criteria for a successful claim, which includes hours of validity testing to show that their daily lives are significantly impaired and that they are not malingering.

Fifty-one now qualify for moderate to advanced dementia awards, which vary based on condition and years of play. Nearly 250 show signs of early dementia and will received up to $35,000 in enhanced medical testing and treatment. All of them initially failed to qualify because of the race-norming issues in testing.ADVERTISEMENT

The new test results will add millions to the NFL’s total payouts.

Thousands of other Black retirees can meanwhile seek new testing to see whether they qualify under the revised scoring formula. But advocates for the former players fear that many don’t know that, especially if they deal with memory issues and live alone.

“Men who are homeless, men who originally signed up but their cognitive function changed, men who are divorced or isolated — we are going to go looking for them,” said Amy Lewis, who along with her husband, retired Washington player Ken Jenkins, petitioned the judge overseeing the case and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to address the race-norming issue.