Schumer wants VA to provide dogs to more vets
Posted at: 09/17/2012 2:20 AM
By: Associated Press | WHEC.com
Veterans with physical impairments can get reimbursed for the cost of having a service dog help them, but a new Veterans Administration directive is delaying compensation for veterans with mental and emotional concerns until further research is completed.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York is releasing a letter to the Veterans Administration asking that it rescind its directive. He says the benefit of service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other emotional concerns is already clear and no further research is needed.
"As the wars are winding down," says Sen. Schumer. "And the ranks of those suffering mental and emotional trauma remain sky high, the VA cannot--it must not--deny benefits to veterans that will help them access to these service dogs."
The Veterans Administration issued a statement that it hasn't been able to determine a medical benefit for the dogs to veterans with mental illness. The agency says research is needed and should be completed by 2014 to justify the expense.