When you NeedA a little Extra Support
Emotional Support Animals provide emotional assistance to their handlers and may qualify as an ESA as long as the animal does not cause a disturbance or undue hardship for the property owner.
Any domesticated animal of any age may qualify as an ESA and, unlike service dogs, these animals do not need any specific task training. This is because their very presence reduces the symptoms associated with a person's psychological or emotional disability.
Not everyone will qualify for an Emotional Support Animal, so it is helpful to understand exactly what the screening process entails. You must be able to demonstrate some substantial need that will benefit from having an Emotional Support Animal with you at all times.
For a person to legally qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), they must be considered emotionally disabled by a licensed mental health professional. This means the person must meet the criteria for a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM 5).
Persons who have diagnosed mental disorders, have sought treatment through medications and/or therapy, and whose specific symptoms are treated by the presence of an animal may qualify for an ESA letter, as long as their Licensed Mental Health Provider professionally recommends it.
The assessment is provided by Michelle Langley, a licensed mental health care provider, as a specialty service and one that is not covered by medical insurance.
The first part is an online assessment that must be completed before scheduling. We use the WHODAS 2.0 (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule) as a general measure of disability and function.
Once your responses to the assessment are received and processed, you'll be ready to schedule the clinical interview.
Do I have legal protection? The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 is the law that protects an emotionally disabled person and their ESA. This legal protection allows an individual with an ESA to qualify for no-pet housing and no pet fee. This protection also includes an exemption from any housing provider’s limitation of a pet’s size or breed.
What is the cost of an ESA evaluation? The total cost of the evaluation is $150. This amount is due 24 hours before your appointment time. Due to office hours, if your appointment date falls on a Monday, the charge is processed on the Friday prior. Insurance does not cover the cost of the evaluation.
Can I schedule an evaluation if I live in another state? You must live in a state where Michelle Langley holds a state license; Arizona, Louisiana, or Texas.
When will I receive my letter? If you meet the need for an emotional support animal, you will receive your letter by email within 72 business hours of your evaluation.
What information will be assessed? Your clinician will look into the impact that your disability has on day-to-day functioning. They will ask questions about how your disability affects you to determine if an emotional support animal could help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, they'll want to ensure that you are capable of caring for the animal.