Mar 06, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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It’s been a very long time coming.

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

The money is tax free and is intended to cover urgent health-care needs.

Health Minister Rona Ambrose says the long-awaited compensation package also includes up to $168 million – for ongoing medical assistance – based on individual circumstances of the victims.

Those affected by thalidomide are dealing with missing and malformed limbs, blindness and deafness, disfigurement and other disabilities – 50 years after the drug was prescribed to their pregnant mothers.

Survivors have battled for years for compensation.

Ambrose says the money will help ensure that survivors receive the care they need – for the rest of their lives.

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