DVA Provider News article - October 2020.

Improved DVA guideline, form for requesting assistance dogs

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has updated the guidelines and form used by health providers to request a psychiatric assistance dog under the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP).

Assistance dog in uniform and laying obediently in a park

The guidelines and form have been redesigned to help providers better understand DVA’s requirements and processes for requesting a psychiatric assistance dog for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There has been a significant increase in the number of requests since the Psychiatric Assistance Dog program was introduced last year. DVA has reviewed its processes to ensure providers can easily understand the eligibility criteria for their patients to be considered for the program. 

The new guidelines clearly specifies eligible providers, sets out the criteria and prior approval process. There are step-by-step instructions to assist with requesting an assistance dog, and the associated support documentation required for the request to be considered by DVA.

The guidelines also provide direction on requesting an assistance dog for a veteran living in a retirement village or aged care home. It details how long it may take for a veteran, if approved for the program, to be matched and trained with a dog. 

You can find the new Assistance Dog Guidelines and Form in the RAP Provider pages on the DVA website: