Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

Unconfirmed Claimant FAQs

  • What is the purpose of the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program (“CTSSP”)?

    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.

  • What does the CTSSP include?

    • A five-year time frame to apply to the CTSSP, beginning June 3, 2019 and ending June 3, 2024, for those individuals who believe they are a Thalidomide Survivor.  Individuals denied under the Government of Canada’s 1991 Extraordinary Assistance Plan (“EAP”) or the 2015 Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program (“TSCP”) are also eligible to apply;

    • A probability-based medical assessment process to determine if individuals are Thalidomide Survivors employing techniques utilized in other international Thalidomide Survivor programs;

    • An increased initial ex gratia lump sum, tax-free payment of $250,000 for Survivors confirmed under the new CTSSP. Survivors already recognized under the former TSCP will receive a top up payment of $125,000 to equalize the ex gratia amount payable to all Survivors under the two programs.

    • Ongoing annual tax-free payments to Thalidomide Survivors indexed at 2% per year for life based on each individual’s assessed level of disability;

    • Access to an annual Extraordinary Medical Assistance Fund (“EMAF”) to help cover the costs of extraordinary health support costs of Thalidomide Survivors with needs such as specialized surgeries and home or vehicle adaptations that are not otherwise provided in provincial/territorial healthcare plans.

    • An increase to the EMAF to $1 M per year, indexed at 2% per year, to account for an anticipated greater number of Confirmed Survivors.
  • Are the estates of confirmed Thalidomide Survivors no longer living, eligible to apply to the CTSSP?

    No. Only living Canadian Thalidomide Survivors are eligible for financial support under this program.

  • Are there important dates I should know about in regard to the CTSSP?

    Yes.

     

    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

    Suite 3-505, 133 Weber St N

    Waterloo, ON

    N2J 3G9

    Email: info@tsspcanada.ca

    FAX: 1-888-842-1332

  • How may I obtain a Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application?

    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.

  • What if I need help filling out my Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application?

    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.).

  • What happens after I submit my Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Application?

    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:

     

    • You must have been born in Canada between December 3, 1957 and December 21, 1967;

    • Your date of birth must coincide with maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy; and,

    • The nature of your congenital malformations must be consistent with known characteristics of congenital malformations linked to Thalidomide.

     

    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.

  • How was the birth date range determined for eligibility at Step 1?

    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.

  • How will the Administrator assess the nature of my congenital malformations?

    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.

  • How long will it take for you to review my Step 1 - Preliminary Screening Application?

    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.

  • How will I be notified if I will be advancing to Step 2?

    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 info@tsspcanada.ca 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.

  • Where do I find the Step 2 Application?

    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).

  • What happens at Step 2?

    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.

  • How long will it take for you to review my Step 2 – Probability Assessment Application?

    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 must yield a probability based result of “probable” that your injuries are the result of maternal ingestion of Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy to advance to Step 3.

  • Please explain the outputs of the diagnostic algorithm at Step 2.

    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 - Based on the information provided in the Step 2 – Probability Assessment Application, it is unlikely that the individual’s injuries are due to exposure to Thalidomide.

     

    Unclear - Based on the information provided in the Step 2 – Probability Assessment Application, it is unclear whether the individual’s injuries are due to exposure to Thalidomide as there is inadequate information to make a meaningful assessment. The Administrator will request additional information from the Unconfirmed Claimant to try and fill the gaps to decide whether to consider the case further.

     

    Probable - Based on the answers provided in the Step 2 – Probability Assessment Application, it is probable that the individual’s injuries are due to exposure to Thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy. Individuals who receive a probability result of “probable” may be asked to undergo an independent medical exam to verify the medical information provided, which may include scans, radiographs and genetic testing. The Administrator may assist in the coordination of the exam and any expenses related to the exam would be covered by the CTSSP. You may also be asked to provide additional information, if available, about your mother’s ingestion of Thalidomide to assist the Administrator in rendering its final decision.

  • How will I be notified if I will be advancing to Step 3?

    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 you prefer to be contacted by email, please ensure that you add info@tsspcanada.ca 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 2 does not coincide with advancing to Step 3, 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 2 – Probability Assessment application to be reconsidered.

     

    To request reconsideration, please contact the Administrator.

  • What happens at Step 3 – Medical-Legal Panel Review?

    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.

  • When do I start receiving benefits under the CTSSP?

    Claimants who proceed successfully through all three steps 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.

Important Updates

 

 

Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program Class Proceeding – Notice of Settlement Approval Hearing on February 26-27, 2020. Click here  for more information.

 

CTSSP Application Deadline:

Step 1 – Preliminary Screening Applications are now available for any living individual who believes that they are a Thalidomide Survivor, including those previously denied under the 1991 EAP or the 2015 TSCP. Click here to download the form or call 1-877-507-7706 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) to have one sent to you. The CTSSP Application deadline is postmarked by June 3, 2024 to the Administrator.

 

Reassessment:

Confirmed Survivors who are currently at a level 1 or a level 2, may request reassessment of their health status for the 2019-2020 FY anytime between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. Click here to download the application.

 

EMAF:

EMAF applications are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 FY. Confirmed Survivors may submit up to a maximum of two applications per year anytime between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. Click here to download the application.

 

You may also call the Administrator at 1-877-507-7706 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) or by email to  info@tsspcanada.ca to have any of the forms sent to you by mail or email.

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