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Juliette asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Legal Service Dog Question?

I am aware that you can claim your Service Dog on your Taxes however I am on SSI and SSDI and only make 647 per month so I do not file taxes according to the IRS. However I been told because Amber is my dependent I should be able to get help with food for her because of my income level and because she is a need to help me live independently. How do I get this help. I do collect Food Stamps from what I understand because she is a dependent I would get a small amount of cash assistance from Arizona Department Economic Security but they say NO is this true? Because US department of Justice and ADA says I am suppose to get help due to my income but from whom?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The ADA does not guarantee you help for anything, just an equal opportunity to access goods and services, the same as any non-disabled person. The ADA requires businesses and states to present their goods and services in a manner which gives you equal access. This usually means removing architectural barriers so that you can actually enter the building where the goods and services are located. Where service dogs are concerned, it means allowing a qualified person with a disability to enter a place accompanied by their trained service dog even when pets are not generally permitted. That's it. That's all the ADA has to do with service animals.

    You can't claim a dog, even a service dog, as a dependent. The tax deduction is for unreimbursed medical expenses, not dependents. Under the law, service animals are considered durable medical equipment or property. There is no federal program for funding her food or veterinary costs.

    SOME, but not all, states have programs which give people with disabilities partnered with service dogs trained by a recognized program a small stipend to defray some of the costs of maintaining a service dog.

    Your Center for Independent Living may be able to help you find out if such exists in your state. Otherwise, I suggest you contact your state representative and ask them whether your state has such a program. They aren't likely to know the answer, but they are very likely to know where to direct your question. Having them inquire on your behalf will mean you get a speedier response than if you tried to follow the trail of red-tape yourself to find the government official who actually knows.

    Source(s): I am a disability advocate specializing in service animals.
  • Boss
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Visit the Delta Society website for information on grants and financial assistance ( http://www.deltasociety.org/ServiceInformationCons... ). They encourage you to work with your community in any way you can. As someone already suggested, church groups or other organizations like Elks may be able to help you raise money. Others they suggest are: Chamber of Commerce, Diagnosis related association, Alumni Associations.

    You may also find this website helpful:

    http://www.assistancedogunitedcampaign.org/

    If you got your dog from a school, they will be able to point you in the right direction, if they themselves to not offer direct financial assistance.

    I am no authority when it comes to the issues regarding your taxes so I can't, in good faith advise you on that. Who has told you that your dog is legally considered your dependent? Dogs are typically viewed as property, rather than individuals.

    Source(s): Guide dog partner
  • 1 decade ago

    A few thoughts:

    1. Contact the organization you got the service dog through. They may know.

    2. Contact your county assistance office.

    3. Contact your local Social Security office.

    4. Contact local churches. Many of them have "food banks" which offer assistance to those in need. Perhaps they also supply those in need with pet food.

    Hope this helps!

  • 1 decade ago

    I'll have to research this one but at the moment I would think if the ADA and US dept of Justice say you can get help they should be able to provide you with a copy of the law that says this and you then can show it to who it pertains to.

    Source(s): Me
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