If you’re a veteran who has suffered loss of hearing, vision or mobility as the result of your service, you may be eligible for a guide dog (trained to assist the blind) or a service dog, trained to assist those with severe hearing loss or individuals with physical disabilities that limit their mobility. These dogs can alert individuals to sights and sounds and also help them perform certain tasks such as opening doors and retrieving objects.
Like any type of medical service provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you must register at a VA medical center or online to request a service or a guide dog. From there, you may be referred to a specialist for an in-depth evaluation to determine the severity of your disability and how your specific needs may be met by a service or guide dog.
If approved, your service or guide dog will be provided by an accredited agency. Your benefits will cover any veterinary care (prescribed medications, office visits and one sedated dental procedure per year), vaccinations and equipment necessary for the dog. Food prescribed to the dog will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The VA does not cover over-the-counter medicines (including flea and tick medication), food, treats or nonsedated dental care. Grooming, boarding and other routine expenses are also the veteran’s responsibility.
If you believe you may be eligible for a guide or service dog, the experienced veterans disability lawyers of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, can help. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us toll-free at 877-526-3455 or use our online contact form.