Government of Canada announces details of the new financial support program for eligible Canadian thalidomide survivors

News release

Helping eligible thalidomide survivors access needed treatment, care and supports

April 10, 2019 - Ottawa, ON - Health Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian thalidomide survivors and helping them to age with dignity. The new Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program (CTSSP) provides a fair and compassionate approach that will help eligible survivors access the care they need for the remainder of their lives.

Today, the Government of Canada introduced a new financial support program for eligible Canadian thalidomide survivors. The CTSSP is designed to align with international best practices and will help ensure eligible thalidomide survivors receive the financial support they need. In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada recognized that some thalidomide survivors may have been excluded from the Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program (TSCP) and committed to addressing this concern. The CTSSP replaces the Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program. 

The new program will use a probability-based medical assessment process that takes into consideration date and place of birth, congenital malformations, and any available evidence of maternal use of thalidomide during the first trimester of pregnancy. A medical-legal committee, established by the third-party administrator of the program, will review all available evidence before making a recommendation for eligibility for financial support.

The CTSSP will consider applicants born inCanadabetween December 3, 1957, and December 21, 1967. These dates are based on the earliest global availability of thalidomide and up to five years after its withdrawal from the Canadian market.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the third party administrator so that they may be informed once the process is open to receive applications. Once launched, the application period will be open for five years. Survivors already supported by the TSCP will automatically be transferred to the CTSSP and will continue to receive their benefits uninterrupted.

A backgrounder is available with additional information on the screening process, ongoing and ex-gratia payments for survivors under the CTSSP.


"Our Government is committed to supporting thalidomide survivors. That's why we created a new program with a fair and compassionate approach to helping survivors access the care they need for the remainder of their lives."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Associated Links


Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada

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