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VA cuts benefits for service dogs

Although many veterans of the United States military may be in need of service dogs due to the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD,  ABC news reports that according to the Federal Register, these veterans benefits are being cut. The Department of Veterans Affairs told the news source that there is not enough medical evidence to support the need for these dogs. This new rule will start October 5, according to ABC News

“Although we do not disagree with some commenters’ subjective accounts that mental health service dogs have improved the quality of their lives, VA has not yet been able to determine that these dogs provide a medical benefit to veterans with mental illness,” the VA said.

While VA does not believe in the medical benefit of these dogs, many seem to. Lindsey Stanke, CEO of Paws and Stripes, told ABC News that they have a waitlist for trained dogs that is more than 600 long. The news source had an estimate of 100 new service dogs that would be provided each year, but Stanke said the list is growing longer and longer. She believes having these dogs helps not only the veterans, but eases the veteran’s family as well.

PTSD is a serious medical condition that often is not considered as disabling as other medical conditions suffered by the veterans. The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates are experts in establishing claims based on PTSD through credible medical evidence that will be recognized by VA officials.