Thalidomide survivors to receive $125,000 lump sum payment each


Compensation package also includes up to $168 million for ongoing medical assistance

The Canadian Press Posted: Mar 06, 2015 3:44 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 06, 2015 3:47 PM ET

The federal government is offering a $125,000 lump sum payment to thalidomide victims.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the money is tax free and intended to cover urgent health-care needs.

The long-awaited compensation package also includes up to $168 million for ongoing medical assistance based on victims’ individual circumstances.

People affected by thalidomide continue to deal with missing and malformed limbs, deafness, blindness, disfigurement and other disabilities a half-century after the drug was prescribed to their pregnant mothers. Survivors have battled for years for compensation.

Ambrose acknowledged that no amount of money can ever undo what happened, but said the compensation will help ensure that survivors receive the care they need for the rest of their lives.

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