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K9 Buddy Curriculum: K9 Buddy VFA FAQs

Who is eligible?
All K9 Buddy clients are eligible for Guide Dogs for the Blind's Veterinary Financial Assistance (VFA) Program, however you must first attend a 30-minute virtual VFA information session. Please email [email protected] if you wish to attend an upcoming session.

What is an authorization number and how do I get one? When do I need to get an authorization number?
An authorization number is your confirmation that Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has agreed to pay a veterinary invoice up to a certain dollar amount. You will need an authorization number for any non-routine vet appointment or expense (including medication refills). You need a new authorization number for each appointment, authorized funds do not roll over from one vet visit to another.

I have an authorization number but it isn’t enough, do I need to pay the rest myself?

No, authorizations can be adjusted as long as you let us know. If we are open, call us from your appointment with an update about your veterinarian’s proposed plan and the new estimate. If we are not open, you can proceed but remember to contact us the following business day so we can get an update about your dog and adjust the authorized amount.

What do I do if my dog needs to see the vet after hours due to an urgent issue or an emergency?

If you ever feel that your dog needs veterinary care outside of GDB’s normal business hours, please go to your local veterinarian or emergency clinic!

You may proceed with emergency or urgent care up to $3000 outside of normal business hours. You will still need an authorization number so please call the next business day to give us an update and get an authorization number at that time.

If your dog needs veterinary care over $3,000, immediate payment assistance, or collaboration with a GDB veterinarian, please call 800-295-4050 to speak with our answering service.

What is covered without authorization?

  • Wellness care up to $250 per year - this includes an annual physical exam, a heartworm test, and vaccines.
  • Heartworm and flea/tick prevention up to $400 per year.
  • For dogs 8 years old and up, we will cover an additional $250 per year for routine senior bloodwork and urinalysis during the wellness visit.

How do veterinary bills get paid?

  • There are two options – either direct billing by your veterinarian to GDB, or you paying for the visit up front and getting reimbursed by GDB.
  • All vet bills may take up to 30 days to process and are paid by check.
  • If you wish to use direct billing, please discuss with your veterinarian to see if this is something they are willing to do. If they do not want to direct bill, you will need to be prepared to pay the bill at the time of service.
  • To request payment from GDB, the person or clinic to be paid fills out a reimbursement form and sends that to GDB with a copy of the invoice. Reimbursement requests may be emailed, mailed, or faxed.
Where do I send my reimbursement form and invoice?

Guide Dogs for the Blind
Attn: Accounting Department
P.O. Box 151200
San Rafael, CA 94915-1200

Email: [email protected]
Fax: 415-226-0553

How do I reach VFA?

Phone: 800-295-4050, option 2, then option 2 again.
Email: [email protected]

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