As part of the fiscal year 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Act, veterans with mental disabilities are now eligible to receive service dogs. The VA has been directed to begin supplying service dogs to veterans, but those eligible to receive the dogs have been expanded. For the first time, veterans with mental disabilities, to include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are eligible to receive a service dog.
The Act further provides $2 million to be used toward medical services in the program and directs the VA to further develop their relationship with specific service dog organizations utilizing veterans.
Service dogs have a long history of use with veterans and have been shown to help veterans live more full lives. This, in turn, tends to increase not just quality of life, but overall moral. Service dogs also serve to aid in comfort during the course of rehabilitation making the entire process as easy as possible.