Thursday, November 1, 2012

VA no longer covers costs for PTSD service dogs

VA will no longer cover the cost of service dogs for veterans with PTSD. VA issued a final rule that limits its payment of service-dog benefits to veterans with vision, hearing, or mobility impairments. 77 Fed. Reg. 54368 (Sept. 5, 2012). The rationale provided in the rule is that “VA has not yet been able to determine that these dogs provide medical benefit to veterans with mental illness.” The rule expressly stated that it “does not deny access of any service dog to VA health care facilities.” However, there is a provision in the Honoring America’s Veterans Act of 2012 (above) that states that VA “may not prohibit the use of a covered service dog in any facility or on any property,” and defines “covered service dog” as “a service dog that has been trained by an entity that is accredited by an appropriate accrediting body that evaluates and accredits organizations which train guide or service dogs.”

(Posted to September 2012)

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