They Comfort and Assist. Let’s Celebrate Them

August 17, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 17, 2015

A happy working dogThe word “friend” conjures images of laughter and warmth. Friends stand by each other through good and bad times. They’re supportive, encouraging, and they come in all shapes and sizes — and sometimes with a wet nose and fur. Social Security celebrates four-legged helpers who aren’t only friends, but family and heroes: assistance dogs.

Assistance dogs help disabled people meet their daily needs. These faithful canines receive specific training to assist, comfort, and alert their special needs companion of danger. They allow their human wards to live independently and with confidence. Their training allows assistance dogs to help people with physical and mental disabilities, hearing loss, and seizures. Some also help our veterans and people with post-traumatic stress disorder to regain their independence, physically and emotionally.

From fetching medicine, to signalling an emergency, to answering the doorbell, these dogs are vital supporters. Their service is priceless, giving peace of mind to the families and friends of people with disabilities.

Social Security praises and cheers assistance dogs. Their labor of love is something we’re familiar with. Long ago, our agency made a commitment to empower people with disabilities by providing them with information about our programs, and what benefits are available to them. Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access our programs, activities, and facilities, regardless of disability, is one of the promises we made to America in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Our reasonable accommodation options guarantee effective communication. We provide certified and qualified sign language interpreters, lip-reading or speech-reading services, telephone devices for the deaf or hard of hearing (TDD or TTY), and free handwritten notes upon request. If you or someone you know needs to request a reasonable accommodation, please visit our website, or call our toll free number (1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Like a faithful companion, Social Security is here to offer support and access to the information people need.

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About the Author

Phil Gambino, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Audrey P.

    CALIFORNIA-$50 plus + disabled dog allowance http://Www.cdss.ca.gov/assistance-dogs

  2. Audrey P.

    I have seen form and information that ssi recepients can get 50 or 75 $ month plus vet bills covered for animal with care license.why is this info not on this article. (Sorry cAnnot find the gov. webpage right now with the government form)

    • Ray F.

      Hi Audrey, individuals who qualify for SSI may be eligible for additional programs and services provided by their local county health or human services office. These other services or benefits may include a special allowance for assistance dogs for people who are blind or who have a disability. For more information, contact your local county health or human services office. Thanks!

  3. Audrey P.

    I like this blog statement. But the details are missing! . gov site with this form that is allowed for ssi recipients to covere animal costs. I’m disabled yet to get full benefits I have to be a gold miner digging deep..seems ridiculous! Why isn’t there a Handbook for each state if rules are different..rather then No California Handbook to explain all rules therefore full living for disabled..insteaded of being further incompasitated by ssi Income limits..social security polices bank accounts yet fail to provide Benefit Counseling!. In a way not giving this information is crippling or disabled. All rules need to be given..thats compassionate care! Please Update with all information to all benefits In each state or the gov. Is in violation of Americans Disability Civil Rights to this information!?

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  6. Rachael L.

    I have a dog she knows that is something wrong with me she stay with me and she keeps me relax when I get stressed out and not feeling the best. I have my doctor fill out the form for it so I can come to the office to pick it up.

  7. Jayetri T.

    Dogs and cats are really useful pets and good friends to us. Friends stand by each other through good and bad times. They’re supportive. If people provide perfect training to them their contributions could be significant. Even a trained dog can rescue people from many dangerous situations. Thanks for sharing this article. To learn more please visit..http://www.6estimate.com/

  8. sherry

    Hi there, i have a child whom is 12 rs old and with chronic asthma (at the of 5yrs.. She gets ssi due to being in n out of hospital. Would like to know how n what age of having phtsical compaanion dogs? Already habve a 2 month old pup , but manager says no we cant keep .also have another small dog ewhom is 9 yrs ..they both are chichuahua(pup has terrir mix please let us know or advice

  9. Jackie O.

    My daughter has serious anxiety, and it’s almost crippling. Getting her to go to school is even a challenge. I’ve thought this for a while, but now that I’ve read this, I think having a service dog would really help her. She does well when my husband or I are with her, so if she had a bond with a dog, I think she would do a lot better out in public.

  10. Amy M.

    I wasn’t aware dogs could have seizures themselves until I came across http://www.canine-epilepsy.com which helps pet owners to find out more about epilepsy for their canine friends.

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