We can’t fund an assistance animal if it’s likely to harm you or be a risk to others. This includes people you live and work with or see regularly. Risks can include things like dog bites or aggressive behaviour.

We will not fund an assistance animal if it’s used as a mechanical restraint . Mechanical restraint means the animal is used to stop or limit your movement to control your behaviour. For example, this could be the animal laying on you to stop your behaviours getting worse. We won’t fund an assistance animal that will be used as a mechanical restraint because this could be a risk to you. 

We need to know who will control, care for and look after the health of the assistance animal. We call this person the primary handler. Usually this is an adult or a person who can have full control of the animal. The primary handler of an assistance animal for a child might be a parent.

We need to know:

  • who will be the primary handler
  • the assistance animal won’t cause any risks to you or others
  • neither you or the animal will be harmed in stressful situations, such as when you get upset or angry.

If a child needs the assistance animal at school, we also need to know:

  • if the school will allow the assistance animal to be there, which is a decision for the school, not us
  • who the primary handler will be at school and if they’re trained to handle an assistance animal
  • if the assistance animal will be around other students, and if so, if it’s trained for this situation
  • if the assistance animal poses any health risks to other students and people at the school
  • whether the school is physically set up to manage the feeding and toileting requirements of the assistance animal.
This page current as of
13 December 2021
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