The VA at this time is working on making it policy that only those veterans with physical disabilities are the ones going to be receiving Service Dog Benefits. We have a very limited amount of time to get Congress, the Senate and the Sub-Committee for Veteran Affairs to tell the VA that this is an unacceptable policy and to reverse this policy.
Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD and TBI make the difference from LIVING to Suicide. Currently there are thousands of Veterans on waiting lists nationwide for these service dogs.
95% of the people in DC who can make a difference in this policy are up for re-election. Further, the numbers in DC who are Veterans themselves is over 100. The only way this is going to be changed is for all of us, Veterans, Active Duty Military, Family members, citizens to let Washington know that we will not stand idly by while our veterans attempt or comitt suicide because the VA doesn't want to spend our tax money on this.
This is what the VA is using as their leverage for not providing service dogs to Veterans with PTSD and TBI.
December 2009, Public Law 111-117 authorized VA to provide service dogs trained to aid individuals with mental illnesses, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There appears to be a disconnect between the VA's new regulations and Congressional intent that dogs be provided to veterans with PTSD. Evidently, the VA is relying upon the language that it "may" provide dogs to those with mental illness, but is not "REQUIRED" to do so. You might want to raise this point with the Members of Congress.
Members of Congress actively involved in the Service Dog issue including Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota, Rep. Michael Grimm from New York and the Chairmen and ranking minority members of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, whose contact details are below. Best way to reach them is by telephone to their DC office. When they answer, ask to speak to the staffer who handles Veterans issues, specifically service dog policy.
Sen Franken: (202) 224-5641
Rep. Grimm: (202) 225-3371
Sen. Patty Murray Chairman, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee 202-224-2621
Sen. Richard Burr, Ranking Republican, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, 202-224-3154
Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida, Chrm, House Veterans Affairs Committee, 202-225-4136
Rep. Bob Filner, California, Ranking Democrat, House Veterans Affairs Committee, 202-225-8045
NY Senator Chuck Schumer 202-224-6542
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