Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

From Health Canada

The deadline for applications to the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program is June 3, 2024.

This program is intended to help meet the lifetime needs of Canadian thalidomide survivors.

It is being delivered by Epiq Class Action Services Canada (also known as Epiq), an independent third-party service provider.

Epiq is responsible for:

  • delivering ongoing support payments
  • managing the Extraordinary Medical Assistance Fund (EMAF)
    • this fund will pay for specialized surgery, home and vehicle adjustments to accommodate survivor disabilities and some ongoing health support costs such as chiropractic care, physiotherapy and attendant care
  • assessing and re-assessing the health status of thalidomide survivors
  • determining the eligibility of people who identify themselves as survivors of thalidomide

Program information

Ongoing lifetime support through the program includes:

  • tax-free payments based on level of disability
    • these will increase by 2% a year
    • payments will continue for the survivor's lifetime without the need to reapply
  • timely and easy access to the EMAF
    • the EMAF will increase by 2% a year

Program eligibility

You are eligible for support under the program if you:

  • are a Canadian thalidomide survivor who was compensated as per the 1991 Extraordinary Assistance Plan (EAP) or under the Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program (TSCP)
  • are listed on an existing government registry of thalidomide victims
  • are determined by the third-party administrator to be eligible
If your application to the 2015 Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program was denied, you may be affected by a Class Proceeding. Please visit the Thalidomide Survivors Contribution Program for more information.

Information for potential thalidomide survivors

Contact Epiq if you think you are a survivor of thalidomide who has yet to be recognized by the federal government.

As established by an Order in Council, the Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program (CTSSP) uses a three-step probability-based medical assessment process summarized below. Applicants must meet the preliminary screening requirements established at the first step in order to move onto the next steps.

  1. Preliminary Screening:
    1. The date of birth of the person in Canada falls within the period beginning on December 3, 1957 and ending on December 21, 1967;
    2. The person's date of birth or any other information available is consistent with maternal ingestion of thalidomide in the first trimester of pregnancy and;
    3. The nature of the person's congenital malformations is consistent with known characteristics of congenital malformations linked to thalidomide.
  2. Application of a diagnostic algorithm for thalidomide embryopathy:
    The algorithm will harness the best available international science in understanding the patterns of thalidomide embryopathy, and will yield a probability based result. It is not a definitive medical test. Regardless of the result, applicants will move to the last step.
  3. Recommendation by medical-legal committee:
    A medical-legal committee, established by Epiq, will consider the totality of the information related to the application and any other evidence that it considers to be relevant. This could include genetic test results and medical exams it may requisition, to inform its recommendation to the third party administrator that an individual is eligible for support under the Program.

Application Period

The CTSSP application period is from June 3, 2019 to June 3, 2024.

Contact information

For information on support for Canadian thalidomide survivors, please contact Epiq.

By phone: 1-877-507-7706
TTY 1-877-627-7027

By e-mail:
Website: Canadian Thalidomide Survivors Support Program

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