ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — 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.
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.
182-a-10-(Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., at news conference)-"men and women"-New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to revise a policy preventing veterans with emotional wounds from receiving benefits for service dogs -- which veterans with physical wounds do receive. (16 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *182 (09/16/12)>> 00:10 "men and women"
183-a-11-(Charles Hernandez, Iraq veteran who uses a service dog, at news conference)-"better we are"-Iraq veteran Charles Hernandez says he relies on his service dog, Valor, to help him with post-traumatic stress disorder following the war. (16 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *183 (09/16/12)>> 00:11 "better we are"
184-a-08-(Leslie Wohlfeld, Afghanistan veteran who uses a service dog, at news conference)-"me from falling"-Afghanistan veteran Leslie Wohlfeld says she relies on her service dog, Lizzie, to help her get around and interact with people. (16 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *184 (09/16/12)>> 00:08 "me from falling"