Eligibility criteria for individuals
To be eligible, the person must:
- reside in Quebec and have a valid health insurance card;
- present a permanent motor impairment leading to significant and persistent disability;
- demonstrate the need to use a mobility assistance dog on a daily basis to accomplish at least one activity in the following categories:
- mobility (help with walking or moving a wheelchair),
- support (help with transfers or active positioning),
- grasping (help with activities for daily living and for living at home);
- have their dog obey in a constant and sustained manner, both at home and in public places;
- be able to use their canine assistant autonomously, effectively and safely while carrying out their daily activities;
- know how to care for and maintain their dog and be able to meet its needs;
- know the applicable laws and regulations and acceptable behaviour to use in public with their dog.
A person is not eligible if he or she:
- already benefits from the coverage under another provincial or federal program for the same type of assistance; For example, the person might be requesting an assistance dog whose sole function is to help with walking but the person already has a walker or manual wheelchair to help with mobility;
- resides in a residential and long-term care centre (CHSLD) or in a public intermediary resource.
Eligibility criteria for mobility assistance dogs
To be eligible, the dog must meet several criteria, in particular:
- obeys basic commands, such as: “sit”, “down”, “stay”, “heel” and “come” and be trained to help its master with their disabilities;
- responds in a constant and sustained manner to the commands it is given at home and in public places;
- demonstrate peaceful behaviour around the people and animals it meets;
- be sterilized and vaccinated at least once a year. The vaccination booklet must be up to date and signed by a veterinarian;
- wear a distinctive sign, such as a harness or bib, when moving about in public places so it can be easily identified as an assistance dog;
- be identified by a photo identification card that names the dog and its master. The identification card must be provided by a specialized training school certified by Assistance Dogs International or the International Guide Dog Federation.