Guide Dog & Service Dog Supplement

Overview

A guide dog or service dog supplement is provided to assist with the monthly maintenance of a certified guide dog team, service dog team and/or a retired guide or service dog team used by recipients or their dependants under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.

Policy

Effective:  June 27, 2016

A monthly supplement of the amount shown in Rate Table – General Health Supplements: Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement may be issued to assist with the maintenance of a guide  dog team, service dog team and/or retired guide or service dog team certified under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.  This supplement is available to recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance when the guide  dog or service dog is used by a member of the family unit and/or the retired guide dog or service dog was used by a member of the family unit and is now certified as a retired guide dog or service dog.

The guide dog and service dog supplement is not intended to help care for pets.

In order to be certified as a guide dog or service dog, a dog must either:

  • Have been trained by a school accredited by an organization named in the Guide Dog and Service Dog Regulation, or
  • Pass a test administered by the Justice Institute of BC. 

For dogs that are to undergo a test administered by the Justice Institute of BC, the Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement may be issued up to 2 months before the date of the test.  

Procedures

Effective:  June 27, 2016

To issue a guide dog and service dog supplement, ministry staff will run the Assisted Eligibility tool, for each dog, which includes verifying that the family unit has a guide dog or service dog and/or retired guide or service dog team that is certified under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.  The Security Programs Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General issue certificates for guide dogs, service dogs and retired guide dogs or service dogs under the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.

This supplement may be issued for both a certified guide dog or service dog and a retired guide dog or service dog. This supplement is to be reviewed at each eligibility review, which may include confirming certification.

For dogs that are to undergo a test administered by the Justice Institute of BC, the Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement may be issued up to 2 months before the date of the test.  Clients will be eligible for the supplement when the client provides the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction with a letter from the Justice Institute of BC that confirms they have a test booked. If a test is failed and the client rebooks a test, the supplement can be reissued.  

If a client has a disability that makes it difficult for them to provide the ministry with confirmation of a test date, ministry staff have a duty to accommodate by helping the client to get this information. [For more information see Related Links - Individual Case Management – Policy – Duty to Accommodate].

Example 1:

On February 1, a client submits a letter from the Justice Institute of British Columbia that confirms a test has been booked for July 15.  In this case, the client will be eligible for a Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement beginning with the cheque issued for May. 

Example 2:

On February 1, a client submits a letter from the Justice Institute of British Columbia that confirms a test has been booked for March 15.  In this case, the client will be eligible for a Guide Dog or Service Dog Supplement beginning with February.  The client is not eligible for the supplement for any prior months.