My Service Dog, Jade

Friday, May 4, 2012

Veterans Can Now Apply For Assistance With Service Dog Expenses

This is an important announcement in regards to Veterans of the Armed Forces that have service dogs, or may benefit from the use of a service dog.

There has been a push for the Department of Veterans' Affairs to be more "service dog friendly," as having a service dog is a great substitute for medications in a lot of cases where depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an issue. However, it's important to remember that a dog that is used to "make you feel better" is NOT considered a service dog; that is a therapy dog, and is not afforded the same public access rights as a service dog.  A service dog MUST be "individually trained to perform certain tasks for the benefit of the disabled person." So, just being there to make one feel good is not considered a task.  Just something to remember.

I think it is crucially important for the VA healthcare system to become more service dog friendly, and support Veterans that use service dogs. A lot of doctors continue to push medications for a lot of ailments, and sometimes, the use of a service dog can have a great impact on the amount of medication someone needs to take, but not always.

There are several articles online, such as the one above that discusses this fairly new benefit for Veterans. I think ALL Veterans that use service dogs, should apply for this benefit! This new benefit essentially provides some compensation for those Veterans that use service dogs, in helping with costs associated with keeping a service dog.

Please look into this, and if you are a Veteran with a service dog, please go to your nearest VA hospital and apply for this benefit.