Disappointing final decision: all provinces and territories decline by consensus the CHS request to extend survivor MPTAP benefits to spouses and dependents of claimants post September 15, 1993.
After hearing from CHS members covered by the Multi-Provincial and Territorial Assistance Plan (MPTAP) expressing worry for spouses and children who entered their lives after September 15, 1993 and therefore were not eligible to receive survivor benefits, the CHS undertook in March 2014 to lobby provincial and territorial (P/T) health ministers with a view to extending survivor benefits to ALL spouses and children of directly infected long-term survivors covered by the MPTAP, including those who became part of the claimants’ lives after they had applied and been accepted under the plan.
After two years of follow-up efforts, Premier Terry Lake, whose province led a P/T collaborative review of our request, finally informed us in a letter dated February 11, 2016 that all provinces and territories unanimously agreed to maintain MPTAP's current eligibility criteria, thus rejecting the CHS' request. He also indicated that the decision to change the survivors benefit eligibility criteria ultimately rests with individual provinces and territories therefore some jurisdictions may therefore decide to review this decision at a later date.
As there is an opening for individual provinces, it will be up to CHS provincial chapters to determine if they wish to pursue this provincially with the support of concerned claimants. Please see below the decision letter received by Premier Lake.
Survivor benefits for spouses and children of long-term survivors covered by the Multi-Provincial Territorial Assistance Program (MPTAP)□ Were you directly infected with HIV through the blood system?
□ Are you covered under the MPTAP compensation plan?
□ Did you marry or have children since September 15, 1993?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions we need to hear from you.
In 1993 the Multi-Provincial and Territorial Assistance Plan (MPTAP) was introduced. It included survivor benefits for the spouse and dependents of the primarily infected person. Spouse and children were defined as the spouse as of September 15, 1993, and dependent as a natural child as of September 15, 1994, or adopted child as of September 15, 1993. Following the death of the primarily infected person, the spouse as defined is entitled to $20,000/year for five years. Dependents are entitled to $4,000/year for five years, for each child under age 18, or between ages 18 to 25 and attending a secondary or post-secondary educational institution full-time.
At this point there are an unknown number of directly infected long-term survivors who may have married or entered a spousal relationship or had children since September 15, 1994. We would like to find out how many of our members are in this situation.
If you signed the MPTAP agreement and have subsequently married, your new spouse or any children born are not entitled to survivor benefits! The Canadian Hemophilia Society would like to hear from you if you are in this particular life situation. Some of our members have expressed a desire to seek modification to the MPTAP agreement for those long-term survivors who have decided to start a family.
If this applies to you, we want to help. The CHS has started to lobby provincial and territorial Health Ministers with a view to extending survivor benefits to all spouses and children of directly infected long-term survivors covered by the MPTAP, including those spouses and children who became part of the claimants’ lives after the time of applying and being accepted under the plan. The advocacy work has been undertaken by a task force (small working group) and overseen by the CHS National HIV-Hepatitis Committee.
At this point in time we would like to hear from anyone in our membership who is in this situation – a ‘head count’ will be useful during the lobby process. Any information you provide to the CHS is kept in the strictest of confidence; no personal information will be divulged during the lobby process.
We are also looking for individuals who are prepared to join the working group and help bring this to fruition. One of our members will be leading the working group that will be helping to advise the HIV-Hepatitis Committee as they coordinate the lobby effort. This is your chance to stand up for your rights as someone who was infected through the blood supply and to seek appropriate support to be able to fulfill a new role and responsibilities in life as a mother, father or life partner.Contact Michel Long at email@example.com or 1-800-668-2686