H.R. 4305 would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a pilot program to provide therapy to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Under that program, VA would provide grants to nongovernmental entities to teach those veterans to train service dogs. The bill also would require the Government Accountability Office to report to the Congress one year after enactment of the bill on the initial results of that program.
The bill would require VA to provide grants over a five-year period. Veterans who participate in the program would train service dogs for their personal use or for use by other veterans with physical disabilities. Using information about participation rates and costs of similar programs offered by several nongovernmental entities, CBO estimates that beginning later in 2020 about 150 veterans would take part in the pilot program each year at an average cost of $25,000 per participant. Using information about the costs of similar reports, CBO estimates that satisfying the reporting requirement would cost $1 million in 2021. In total, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4305 would cost $19 million over the 2020-2024 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds (see Table 1).