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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Senator Charles Schumer is lobbying to overturn a Department of Veterans Affairs policy that will cut off funding to provide service dogs to veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The new VA directive is scheduled to take effect next month and will no longer provide funding for service dogs to veterans with PTSD going forward.
Sen. Schumer said research shows that trained service dogs are effective in helping veterans with mental and emotional disorders such as PTSD cope with their return to civilian life.
Federal law currently states that the VA can reimburse vets for the cost of owning a service dog if a doctor signs off on it, but the new policy would limit that reimbursement only to vets with physical disabilities.
The senator was joined by service dogs and veterans during his news conference to appeal for the directive to be tossed out in favor of allowing doctors to decide if a service dog can assist a veteran.
The VA is conducting research on how effective service dogs are at helping vets cope, but wanted to end the program until the study is complete in 2014.
Do you agree with Sen. Schumer, or do you think this is a good place for the government to save money? Share your thoughts below…