Veteranclaims’s Blog

June 17, 2011

VA Service Dog Rules Amended, PTSD Veterans Left Out!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 6:24 pm

VA mending Service Dog rules, Federal Register Volume 76, Number 116 (Thursday, June 16, 2011)] 38 CFR Part 17, Service Dogs

“In 2001, Congress amended section 1714 to provide that VA may also
provide service dogs for veterans with other disabilities. See
Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001, Public Law 107-135 (2001).”

“The proposed rule would also clarify that VA interprets section 1714 as authorizing the provision of veterinary-care benefits and would establish a clear procedure for awarding such benefits.”

“Proposed paragraph (b) would establish the clinical requirements to
obtain service-dog benefits. First, we would authorize benefits only if the veteran is diagnosed as having a visual, hearing, or substantial mobility impairment. These requirements incorporate the eligibility criteria in section 1714. Second, we would require a clinical determination by a VA clinician, which would be based upon the clinician’s medical judgment that “it is optimal for the veteran to manage such impairment and live independently through the assistance of a trained service dog.”

“In 2009, Congress authorized VA to provide service dogs for the aid
of persons with mental illnesses by amending section 1714. Although VA welcomes the possibility that trained dogs may provide valuable
services to veterans diagnosed with certain mental illness, at this
time we do not have any scientific data to determine, from a purely clinical standpoint, whether or when service dogs are most
appropriately provided to veterans with mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

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