Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program
A settlement between the Federal Government of Canada (“Canada”) and Bruce Wenham of Toronto, Ontario (the “Representative Applicant”) has been approved by the Federal Court and is now final. Please click here for more information.
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The CTSSP Assessment Application Process
Any living individual who believes that they are a Thalidomide Survivor, including those previously denied under the 1991 EAP or the 2015 TSCP, must submit a Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application for assessment to the Administrator prior to the application deadline of June 3, 2024, must proceed through the steps below and be found eligible at Step 3 to receive financial support under the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program (“CTSSP”).
Step 1: Preliminary Screening:
At Step 1, you must submit a Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application postmarked by June 3, 2024. Please click here to view and download the form or you may obtain a Step 1 application form by contacting the Administrator.
To be eligible under the CTSSP:
Please take your time when completing the Step 1-Preliminary Screening application and answer each question fully and accurately. Incomplete responses will result in processing delays.
The Administrator will review your completed Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application and determine if you are eligible to move to the next step in the CTSSP application process. You will be notified in writing once a decision has been made. Individuals who meet the Step 1 eligibility requirements above will advance to Step 2 of the CTSSP application process. See Step 2 below.
Anyone who the Administrator determines does not meet one or more of the Step 1 criteria above may request that their application be reconsidered at any point prior to the Application deadline of postmarked by June 3, 2024. Individuals must provide new information that was not previously submitted for the person’s Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application to be reconsidered. All applicants to the CTSSP must meet all three criteria at Step 1 of the CTSSP Order in Council to advance to Step 2 of the CTSSP application process.
To be eligible under the CTSSP:
Step 2: Probability Assessment:
At Step 2, you must complete and submit a Step 2 – Probability Assessment application postmarked by June 3, 2024.
Step 2 applications are only available to applicants that were deemed eligible at Step 1 and are automatically sent by the Administrator.
The application form must be completed with the assistance of your physician as the application requires detailed and accurate medical responses to specific questions about your Thalidomide related injuries. All applications must be accompanied by supporting medical documentation that should include, but not be limited to:
Once the completed application is received by the Administrator, it will be reviewed carefully for completeness. If a section of the application is not completed or supporting documents are missing, the Administrator will contact you in writing.
After your application is determined to be complete, qualified medical staff will utilize the information you provided to answer a pre-determined set of questions in a diagnostic algorithm for Thalidomide Embryopathy called valiDATE. The algorithm will harness the best available international science in understanding patterns of Thalidomide embryopathy. The algorithm will yield a probability-based result on a three-point scale of the likelihood that your injuries are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is not a definitive medical test, but a probability assessment.
The term “probable” is the highest point on a three-point scale of the algorithm which ranges from “unlikely” to “probable” that your injuries are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Individuals with a probability result suggesting one’s injuries are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester will automatically advance to Step 3 – Medical-Legal Panel Review of the CTSSP eligibility assessment process, namely the Multi-Disciplinary Committee of medical and legal experts (“Committee”) review. Please see Step 3 below.
Individuals with a probability result of “unlikely” or “uncertain” will be given four (4) options and must communicate their choice to the Administrator by completing a Selection Form. The form is automatically sent by the Administrator and if needed additional copies can be obtained by contacting the Administrator. The form offers the following options:
Step 3: Medical-Legal Panel Review:
At Step 3, the Administrator will provide the health practitioner that you designated in your Step 2 application form with a copy of the valiDATE report from Step 2 and a Step 3 – Attestation Statement form that we ask them to complete. This form is only available by contacting the Administrator.
The purpose of this form is to verify that the birth differences identified in the valiDATE report are an accurate assessment of all your known Thalidomide-related birth differences/conditions before your file is sent to the multi-disciplinary committee (“Committee”) for review.
Once the Attestation is returned, the Administrator will verify that your file contains all of the necessary information that the Committee needs to complete its review. If additional information is required, the Administrator will contact you. Otherwise, once deemed complete, your file will be compiled and provided to the Committee who will carefully consider the totality of the information in your application and any other evidence the Committee considers relevant to make its recommendation to the Administrator regarding your eligibility for support under the CTSSP. They may also requisition additional tests including, but not limited to, genetic tests or other exams to aid them in their review.
The Committee is comprised of five (5) members:
Any changes to the composition of the Committee will be posted here.
Please note: any inquiries about the CTSSP application process or program, should be addressed to the CTSSP Administrator and not to the individual Committee Members.
As the review at Step 3 is quite complex, it may take six to eight months before you receive your determination in writing; however, once the Administrator receives the Committee’s recommendation, the Administrator will review and consider the recommendation as promptly as possible and then send you the Administrator’s determination in writing.
Those that are found eligible to receive benefits under the CTSSP will have access to a one-time, immediate, tax-free, lump sum payment of $250,000, a tax-free annual ongoing support payment, and access to the Extraordinary Medical Assistance Fund upon completion of a Proof of Identification Form, which the Administrator will send.
Those that are found ineligible, will be able to submit questions to the Administrator about the determination received and/or request reconsideration in writing or by an informal oral hearing. Further information about the reconsideration process may be found in the Reconsideration Protocol which is available for download from the Documents page of this website or by request by contacting the Administrator.
The CTSSP Application period will be open for a five year period beginning June 3, 2019 and ending June 3, 2024.