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Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program (California)

Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program (California)

The Assistance Dog Special Allowance (ADSA) Program is offered through the State of California’s Department of Social Services, which is one of 16 departments under the umbrella of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

The Department of Social Services provides support for the state’s most vulnerable people, including those with disabilities. It has approximately 4,200 employees working out of 51 statewide offices, as well as 58 county welfare offices and partnerships with a variety of community organizations.

As part of its efforts to serve children and adults with disabilities and to promote independence, the California Department of Social Services provides $50 monthly stipends to eligible state residents who are partnered with a guide, hearing, or service dog; these are issued through the ADSA Program.

The $50 payments are intended to help with the costs of caring for an assistance dog. They may be used for dog food, supplies, grooming, or veterinary care. While this is a modest amount, it adds up to $600 annually and can certainly be of benefit to assistance dog partners working with a tight monthly budget.

Individuals must meet four criteria to be eligible for participation in the Assistance Dog Special Allowance Program:

  • Live in California
  • Be blind, deaf, hard of hearing, or otherwise physically disabled
  • Be partnered with a trained guide, hearing, or service dog
  • Receive benefits through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Supplementary Payment (SSP), In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) while meeting federal poverty guidelines, or California’s Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

Download, print, and complete the application here. For further instructions on how to apply for monthly stipends through the ADSA Program, click the link below to visit the California Department of Social Services website.

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