Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program
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Unconfirmed Claimant FAQs
The CTSSP is intended to contribute to meeting the needs of Thalidomide Survivors for the remainder of their lives so that they may age with dignity.
No. Only living Canadian Thalidomide Survivors are eligible for financial support under this program.
The deadline for unconfirmed claimants to submit a completed Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application to the Administrator at the address below is postmarked by June 3, 2024 in order to be considered for assessment under the CTSSP.
CANADIAN THALIDOMIDE SURVIVORS SUPPORT PROGRAM
PO Box 507 STN B
Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Applications are available by contacting the Administrator or by download on the Forms page of this website. The Administrator can send you the Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application form by mail, email or fax, whichever is your preference.
You may contact the Administrator if you have questions about any of the forms or the program. You may also choose to have someone help you fill out the forms such as a family member, friend or a healthcare provider (e.g. family doctor, occupational therapist, naturopath, personal aide worker etc.).
You will receive confirmation of receipt of your application in writing. If you do not receive confirmation within 15 calendar days of sending it, please contact the Administrator to follow up.
Next, the Administrator, whose team includes medical practitioners, will review your application for completeness and eligibility.
To be eligible under the CTSSP:
If the CTSSP Administrator considers that it is likely, based upon the preliminary assessment in Step 1, that an individual’s congenital malformations are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy, the application will advance to Step 2.
The CTSSP will consider individuals whose mothers may have accessed Thalidomide prior to its authorized use in Canada. Eligibility will be based on the earliest global market availability in West Germany (October 1, 1957) and up to five years after its withdrawal from the Canadian Market (March 2, 1962).
December 3, 1957 is the earliest date of birth allowing for a premature birth at 22 weeks of gestation and assumes maternal ingestion of the drug on October 1, 1957, the last day of the first trimester.
December 21, 1967 allows for a five year grace period following removal of Thalidomide from the Canadian market on March 2, 1962 to coincide with the drug's current shelf life and assumes post-term delivery at 42 weeks.
The Administrator will review the answers that you provide in your Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application along with any medical documentation that you submit with your application. The nature of your congenital malformations must be consistent with known characteristics of congenital malformations linked to Thalidomide based upon the best available scientific knowledge currently known about Thalidomide.
Subsequently, detailed responses to the questions in the Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application are very important.
The Administrator anticipates being able to complete an initial review of all Step 1 applications within 30 calendar days of receipt. The initial review will verify that the application has been completed in full and that you were born in Canada and that your date of birth falls within the date of birth range required in Step 1.
If your application has not been completed in full, the Administrator will contact you for more information. You will then have until the CTSSP Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application deadline of postmarked by June 3, 2024 to provide the missing information. The Administrator may follow up with you periodically if they have not received the information, but ultimately it is your responsibility to provide the missing information to the Administrator by the CTSSP Step 1 – Preliminary Application deadline of postmarked by June 3, 2024.
The Administrator will then review your Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application responses to the questions pertaining to your birth Mother’s ingestion of Thalidomide and the information that you provide regarding the nature of your congenital injuries linked to Thalidomide. This part of the Step 1 – Preliminary Assessment review will take more time than the initial review given the amount of detail that may be provided.
We encourage you to provide detailed responses to all of the questions in the Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application so that the Administrator has comprehensive information on which to base its decision.
The Administrator will notify you in writing of its decision at the contact information it has on file for you. Subsequently, it is important to keep the Administrator informed if you change any of your contact information.
If it is your preference to be contacted by email, please ensure that you add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address book. The decision will provide a detailed explanation of how the Administrator made its determination.
If the information provided at Step 1 does not coincide with advancing to Step 2, what are my options?
After receiving the Administrator’s decision, you may request that your application be reconsidered at any point prior to the Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application deadline of postmarked by June 3, 2024. You must be able to provide new information that was not previously provided in order for your Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application to be reconsidered.
To request reconsideration, please contact the Administrator.
Individuals who meet the Step 1 eligibility requirements will receive the Step 2 – Probability Assessment Application directly from the Administrator by their preferred method of delivery (email, mail or fax).
Your physician will need to complete the Step 2 - Probability Assessment Application for you as the Step 2 - Probability Assessment Application requires detailed medical responses to specific questions about your Thalidomide related injuries.
Once the completed application is received, it will be reviewed carefully by the Administrator.
The information provided at this step will be input into a diagnostic algorithm for Thalidomide embryopathy by qualified medical staff. 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.
The Administrator anticipates that the Step 2 review will take longer than Step 1 because of the amount of detail required. The responses you provide at this stage will be input into a diagnostic algorithm by one medical practitioner and then reviewed by another to ensure that all pertinent information has been entered accurately.
If your application has not been completed in full, the Administrator will contact you for more information. You will then have until the CTSSP Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application deadline of postmarked by June 3, 2024 to provide the missing information.
It is anticipated that this step may take 60-90 calendar days or longer from receipt of a fully completed application to deliver the Administrator’s decision.
The algorithm will yield one of three (3) probability-based results on whether your injuries are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy. The results will be included as part of the package sent to the multi-disciplinary committee who will assess your file.
The diagnostic algorithm will assess the likelihood of an individual’s injuries being due to exposure to Thalidomide, through a series of questions and, based on the information provided in the Step 2 - Probability Assessment Application, will yield a probability result on a three point scale:
Unlikely – When the algorithm yields a probability result of “Unlikely”, it means that based on the data that was entered into the algorithm using the information submitted by the applicant with the CTSSP application to date, it is unlikely that the individual’s injuries are due to exposure to Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Uncertain – When the algorithm yields a probability result of “Uncertain”, it means that based on the data that was entered into the algorithm using the information submitted by the applicant with the CTSSP application to date, that it is unclear whether the individual’s injuries are due to exposure to Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy. The algorithm requires further information from the applicant to enable the questions in the algorithm to be answered with a “Yes” or “No” answer rather than “Unclear”.
Probable - When the algorithm yields a probability result of “Probable/Possible”, it means that based on the data that was entered into the algorithm using the information submitted by the applicant with the CTSSP application to date, it is recommended that a detailed review be undertaken by qualified clinicians to verify the medical information provided. You may also be asked to provide additional information which may include scans, radiographs and genetic testing as well as information about your mother’s ingestion of Thalidomide, if available, to assist the Administrator in rendering its final decision as to whether the applicant is eligible for benefits under the CTSSP.
Once you have completed the Step 2 – Probability Assessment and the algorithm yields one of three (3) probability-based results, the Administrator will notify you in writing via the contact information it has on file for you. Subsequently, it is important to keep the Administrator informed if you change any of your contact information.
If you prefer to be contacted by email, please ensure that you add email@example.com to your email address book.
The decision will provide a detailed explanation of how the Administrator made its determination.
Applicants whose valiDATE result at Step 2 is “Unlikely” or “Uncertain” will receive a Selection form outlining the four (4) options available to them. Applicants must complete and submit the Selection Form to the Administrator prior to the Application Deadline, postmarked by June 3, 2024. The applicant will need to select one of the four (4) following options to tell the Administrator how they would like to proceed with their application:
For more information about the Selection Form or to obtain a copy of your personalized form, please contact the Administrator.
At this step, a multidisciplinary committee of medical and legal experts will carefully consider the totality of the information related to your application from Steps 1 and 2 and any other evidence the committee considers relevant. This could include genetic test results and medical exams it may requisition, to formulate its recommendation to the Administrator that an individual is eligible for support under the CTSSP.
If tests are requisitioned by the committee, the Administrator will assist you in arranging for these tests to be completed. The cost of the tests will be covered by the CTSSP. More details about this Step will follow.
Claimants who proceed successfully through the assessment process will be eligible to receive benefits under the CTSSP. The Administrator will provide you with information about how to access the benefits under the CTSSP if a favourable determination is made at Step 3.
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.