Criteria to Qualify for an Emotional Support Animal - 2022 Guide
You might be aware of the emotional support animal therapy that is used by mental health experts such as therapists or counselors to treat any psychological disorder or emotional condition that negatively affects an individual’s overall health. But do you know that this therapeutic treatment is not for everyone? Individuals who fulfill certain criteria set by the legal authority governing ESA laws are eligible to keep a pet as an emotional support animal.
If you’re wondering whether you qualify for an emotional support animal or not, this post is for you. In this article, I will provide a comprehensive overview of all the criterion elements that ought to be met to make you eligible for acquiring an ESA Letter. If you fail to meet the criteria, the letter that grants you the authority to keep a pet for emotional support cannot be issued.
However, don’t lose hope if you currently do not qualify for the letter. Your mental and emotional state changes over time. If a certified professional deemed you unqualified at one time, that does not mean that you will remain unqualified throughout. You may become eligible in the future.
Without further delay, let’s jump onto the main content of this article.
Following are the general criteria to easily qualify for an ESA.
Mental or Emotional Disorder
The primary criteria that must be met for keeping an emotional support animal is obviously an emotional or mental disorder that necessitates a therapeutic treatment. In absence of this element of general criteria, you cannot request an emotional support animal letter from your counselor.
The emotional or mental disorders that make you eligible for the letter include depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other similar conditions. If you’re wondering how a pet can help you with these conditions, I would advise you to not underestimate the healing and therapeutic abilities of a pet.
Consider an example of an individual who is currently experiencing a state of depression. He is in this state for over a period of 3 months but sees no improvement in condition even after consulting a therapist and taking consolation from his friends and family. The reason behind no improvement in the condition could be insecurities that a person faces among other individuals. There is a constant fear of judgment and disapproval from the members of the society that forbids him to fully open up to other people. All of these factors worsen his mental and emotional state instead of improving it.
In such a situation, the only option left for that individual is to seek solace from a non-judgmental, yet comforting source. So, what better option could he get than a little fluff ball of a pet? Pets not only understand their owner’s mood swings but give their best efforts in providing them comfort and cheering them up in the darkest times of their lives.
However, if you are still skeptical of the abilities of an emotional support animal, only experience could help in erasing your doubts. Get an ESA pet and experience their magical therapeutic abilities yourself.
Positive health outcomes of keeping an ESA
The next element that must be satisfied to qualify for an ESA is the evidence that proves the positive health outcomes of keeping an ESA for you. Although ESA therapy is highly effective, there are certain disorders that cannot be treated through it. Besides, some people also do not respond to this therapy which counters the purpose of keeping an ESA. I mean, why would you need to keep an ESA if you do not respond to the therapy in the first place?
Therefore, to qualify for an emotional support animal, the mental health professional that is overseeing your case ought to establish the usefulness of keeping an ESA pet.
The reason behind this requirement is that the letter that gives you the authorization to keep an ESA is meant to give your pet access to locations where pets are generally not allowed. For instance, if you live in a condo, you may be aware that the building administration of condos usually forbids keeping pets because of the fear of causing disturbance for the other people living in the building. However, ESA letters are meant to give your animal access to such locations.
Now, why would a licensed mental health professional give your pet access to a “no-pets allowed” location if it does not even serve the basic purpose of an ESA? This is the reason why you must prove the health beneficence of ESAs to your counselor to make yourself eligible for keeping an ESA pet.
A letter issued from a licensed professional
The ultimate criterion that qualifies you for an ESA iscertainly the letter. Without the esa letter for housing, you cannot prove to your landlord or any other person that you are legally allowed to keep an ESA pet. However, the letter must be issued by a licensed professional.
If a person does not have the authority to issue the letter such as a physician or a non-licensed professional, the letter is deemed as invalid and does not qualify you for an ESA. Thus, make sure to check the legitimacy of your letter’s source to avoid getting embarrassed in front of your landlord.
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