Service dogs provide invaluable services to disabled individuals. They can assist with mobility, offer comfort and protection, and alert others in emergencies. These skills allow them to help people with emotional and mental issues achieve a higher quality of life. 

Unfortunately, service dogs are expensive. Acquiring one can cost anywhere from $17,000 to $40,000 due to the required training. Owners will also encounter many further expenses in the form of veterinary care and food. 

Disabled individuals in need of a service dog but having difficulty managing costs may wonder, does insurance cover service dogs? Read on to find out. 

Does Health Insurance Cover the Cost of a Service Dog?

Unfortunately, health insurance does not cover the cost of acquiring or maintaining service dogs, but other types of coverage make them more affordable. Here are some to consider. 

  • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI): SSDI provides disability payments that you can use to cover the cost of acquiring and maintaining your dog. Payments can be made in installments or lump sum payouts which can cover initial costs. 
  • VHA Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS): The PSAS provides disability payments to veterans. If you are eligible, you may receive service dog insurance benefits to cover costs. 

What Types of Service Dog Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

Although insurance does not cover the cost of acquiring and maintaining a service dog, it can make other expenses more affordable. Here are some plans a service dog owner may consider purchasing.

  • Pet Health Insurance: Regular pet insurance for service dogs may cover annual vet visits, emergency care, prescriptions, and treatment for chronic conditions.  It can result in significant savings and ensure your pet lives a long, healthy life. 
  • Liability Insurance: Liability insurance will cover expenses if your dog hurts someone or damages property. It is typically included in homeowners and rental insurance policies. 
  • Life Insurance: Life insurance policies are often purchased for dogs that generate revenue or are expensive to train. They help with the cost of replacing pets in an unfortunate event. 

Other Financing Options for Service Dog Expenses

People who are not eligible for disability payments can find other ways to make service dog ownership more affordable. These methods can be used in addition to service dog insurance to help with additional costs, or as an alternative to insurance. They include:

  • Flexible Savings Account (FSA): An FSA will allow you to save money tax-free. You must present a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from your doctor to be eligible. 
  • Assistance Dog Special Allowance Programs (ADSA): The program pays $50 monthly to people with service dogs  to help cover maintenance needs. 
  • Employer Payment Plans: A disabled person may qualify for a payment plan through their employer to cover service animal costs. To become eligible, you must prove your disability and establish that the animal helps you perform tasks you cannot complete on your own. These plans do not cover emotional support dogs. 

People who choose not to get pet insurance for service dogs can also work out a payment plan with their vet. Find out about your vet’s financing options to make your dog’s care more affordable. 

Justice Speaks Makes Service Dog Ownership Easier

Justice Speaks aims to make life easier for people who own service dogs. We can connect you with valuable resources to help you better understand the ins and outs of service dog insurance. 

Our mission is to help by educating others to act respectfully when they encounter service dogs and their owners. This includes educating students, employers, and employees to ensure comfortable environments in workplaces and schools. At Justice speaks we aim to foster understanding and appreciation for service dogs and their handlers. 

Contact us to learn more about our efforts to make the world a more inclusive space. 

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