Is there any type of financial aid I can get to help me get and keep a psychiatric service dog?

Question by Clara: Is there any type of financial aid I can get to help me get and keep a psychiatric service dog?
I have OCD, depression, and anxiety to the point where I have not been able to go to school in months. One of our options is getting a psychiatric service dog, but we don’t have to money to get, let alone keep, the dog. Is there any type of financial aid I qualify for?

Best answer:

Answer by Proforma
I’ve been in psych a long time and I’ve never heard of such a thing unless you are blind. The main financial aid for psych patients is state disability, but you have to be psychotic to qualify.

I’m not sure that a dog would be beneficial since depression and anxiety treatments involve increased social contact for support. Relying on a dog may help you avoid social contact which is counter indicated. Maybe you want to think this through. GOOD LUCK

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2 Responses to “Is there any type of financial aid I can get to help me get and keep a psychiatric service dog?”

  1. Joy says:

    Assistance dogs will give you the trained dog for nothing and train you up together. It’s possible you can get the dog’s food thrown in on a free basis for plugging 1 dog food. I have an assistance dog but I have to pay for her food. I think guide dogs for the blind pay for the food but they are a much larger well known charity who can afford more than most charities. You can get a small dog and they don’t eat much that way. Add any left overs suitable for the dog from the family dinners that may help.

    If you eat half your own meat, chicken, fish and eat more veg or pasta, rice, potatoes to make up for it then give the dog the left over portions you won’t need too many dog biscuits to make up the rest of a small dog’s food. If there is a family of 4 or 5 people it’s a small amount off everyones plate for the dog. Apply to any other charity around you for money for this, the library have a book or on pc lists of charity and trust funds around you to write to asking for help.

    I hope you get one, mine makes a wonderful difference to my life and keeps me going when I’d otherwise lay in bed.

    Good luck

  2. TheRavenAZ says:

    Unless your condition is more physically debilitating than you let on, what you most likely qualify for is an emotional support animal. Unfortunately, these animals do not have the same public access as service dogs and are not protected under ADA law as service dogs are. You cannot bring the dog into any public place with a “No Pet” policy. ESA’s are given special privileges when it comes to flying on airplanes and in rental properties.

    The good news is that ESA’s can be any dog, even one adopted from the pound. All they need is basic obedience training.

    A friendly warning: Beware of scam web sites dishing out false information making people believe they are disabled, have the right to a service dog or allowing them to fraudulently portray their ESA or pets as a service dog. These websites are everywhere, willing to give people whatever they want and tell them whatever they want to hear for high prices. Unfortunately, if you get caught portraying your dog as a service dog when it’s not, you could be fined or even have your dog confiscated.

    Here’s how to spot scam web sites and the best website which will give you correct information.

    http://www.servicedogcentral.org

    No organization I know of just “gives away for free” a service dog they have spent years and thousands upon thousands of dollars to train, (except a few occasionally to charity cases) not even the non-profit ones. And once the handler has been matched with the dog and paid the fee (of $ 8000 to $ 15,000, which is usually only a fraction of what they’ve invested), the responsibility of the dogs care, yearly Vet checks and upkeep is entirely the handlers. The organization may donate the first bag of food, but that’s it. These dogs must be fed very high quality food – I’m absolutely horrified that @Joy suggested feeding a service dog table scraps for its entire diet. That would be unhealthy for a pet, let alone a working dog, and very irresponsible.

    People who are legally disabled are the only ones who can have service dogs. If you don’t have a legal disability, as defined by the ADA, you cannot have a service dog. A Dr cannot write someone a note to approve a service dog for someone who is unqualified (ie: not considered legally disabled). Unfortunately, most medical professionals don’t know the qualifications for getting service dogs or even the difference between service dogs or Emotional Support Animals and unintentionally misinform their patients.

    The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The condition cannot simply be an inconvenience or an annoyance. It must cause a substantial interference to daily life. There must be long term medical documentation of this.

    The second qualifier for a service dog is that the dog MUST perform a PHYSICAL task that directly mitigates the disabled persons disability – the dog must do something the disabled person cannot do. Pick something up for a person who can’t bend over, turning on/of lights, alerting at sounds for deaf people, distracting from subconscious self harming behavior . . . things like that. If someone is able to turn off/on lights themselves, that wouldn’t be a legitimate task.

    Service dogs have access to everywhere the public can go. They are not considered a pet, they are considered a piece of medical equipment – like a cane or wheelchair. Denying access would be like telling an amputee to leave their prostheses at the door.

    Service dogs MUST be highly obedience trained, specifically trained to perform a mitigating task, up to date on all vaccines and non aggressive. Service dogs are considered an Americans with Disabilities act civil right. Denying a service dog and handler access is considered a civil rights violation and can be punishable by up to a $ 20,000 fine.

    Emotional Support Animals are animals that do not perform a physical task to mitigate a disability. They are animals that offer comfort for the depressed, calm and focus people with OCD and ADHD and other “comfort” services. Unlike service dogs, aside from obedience training, they require no specialized training. Also the owners do not have to be legally disabled to have one.

    Although ESA’s perform needed duties, they are not afforded protection under ADA law or given the same public access that service dogs are.

    If your medical condition is severe enough to qualify as a legal disability under ADA law, and a service dog can be trained to perform a task to mitigate the disability, feel free to Email me and I’ll answer any questions you may have.

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