CALL TO ACTION
Tuesday, September 2nd is the closing date for public comments on Wisconsin’s application draft containing a Medicaid service dog benefit. This is important for our whole community because if it’s approved, it could have a cascading effect in other states or areas and be a serious boon to those who could benefit from the use of a service dog, but find the financial barriers too great.
While the spirit of the waiver program draft is good, there is a serious flaw we need to make sure the drafters try to patch. As currently written, the draft only allows a benefit for those acquiring a program-trained service dog. Since this excludes the great majority of our community and those in other potential service dog-using communities, we have to write in to let them know.
If we don’t let our voices be heard now, excluding owner-training as a path to disability mitigation could become the standard in Medicaid benefits across the United States.
Please submit a comment as soon as possible. As always, we encourage you to read the relevant parts of the waiver program draft and form your own opinion, but note that the draft is 198 pages, and the only pages mentioning service dogs are 64 and 65. If you do not wish to write an original comment, it would be mighty helpful to our joint cause if you were to write in your comment that you support Psychiatric Service Dog Partners’ letter. Note that time is of the essence.
To read the waiver program draft, visit the following website. It is easy to submit a comment by emailing DHSOFCE@dhs.wisconsin.gov and being sure to use the subject line “1915(c) Waiver Application”.
Sample quick comment (feel free to personalize/modify):
I owner-trained my service dog, and as a result of our working relationship, I’m able to be more independent and better integrated in my community. I would like to strongly request that owner-trainers like me are not excluded from the service dog benefit in the waiver application: I fully support the positions and reasoning of Psychiatric Service Dog Partners on this topic, as detailed in their letter.
Psychiatric Service Dog Partners’ purpose is to promote the mental health of people using service dogs for psychiatric disabilities by educating, advocating, providing expertise, facilitating peer support, and promoting responsible service dog training and handling.
Psychiatric Service Dog Partners (PSDP) works toward its mission by providing the public information on this website, hosting a private support listserv, holding an annual convention for PSD handlers, consulting with other groups and policymakers, and making presentations and media appearances. PSDP does not provide dogs, train dogs, or certify service dog teams.
To begin exploring our extensive and ever-growing information-trove, click on a topic or icon on the navigation bar anchored atop every page, and if you have any questions, please Contact Us.