New assistance animals guideline released

Today the NDIA released a new guideline on assistance animals including dog guides .

The new guideline gives participants, providers and assessors simpler and clearer guidance on assistance animals, in particular:

  • what an assistance animal is
  • how we make reasonable and necessary decisions regarding funding for assistance animals, including dog guides
  • what information we need to decide if we can fund an assistance animal
  • how participants can access funding in their plans for these supports
  • examples of when we would and would not fund an assistance animal.

The way we make decisions to fund assistance animals has not changed. We have mostly clarified terms and processes in the new guideline, including funding for animals when they’re not yet fully trained.

Participants no longer need to wait until the animal is fully trained and qualified for funding to be provided, if having animal assistance as a support is reasonable and necessary.

We also published the following updates to the Would we fund it guide to clarify how assistance animals, therapy animals and pets and companion animals are funded:

We have updated the Assistance Animals assessment template as well. 

As stated in our Participant Service Improvement Plan, we are committed to being clearer on what reasonable and necessary means, publishing better guidelines and procedures, and making sure this information is in plain English and easier to understand. These guidelines will continue to be updated and improved over time. 

You can provide feedback on the guidelines by emailing [email protected]

View Our Guideline – Assistance animals including dog guides .