ESA Certification in Illinois
Currently, the state of Illinois does not have any laws that are specifically aimed at the requirements for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) in Illinois. They do have a law that allows people with disabilities to live with their emotional support animal without paying extra fee.
How To Qualify For An Emotional Support Animal Certification In Illinois
In order to qualify for an ESA certification in Illinois, a person must provide documentation that they have a mental health condition that causes them to have difficulties with social interaction or psychological symptoms of distress and anxiety (for example, panic attacks). This documentation can be a statement from their doctor confirming this diagnosis.
In addition, people who are claiming an ESA must provide evidence of how their dog can assist with their disability. For example, if the person has separation anxiety and the dog helps by giving this person comfort while they are alone at home or reminding the individual to fetch medication in due time, then this is acceptable.
People who claim for ESA certification also need to pass a written and practical ESA evaluation by an Illinois-licensed therapist or mental health professional. This evaluation must be performed by a person who is either a licensed therapist or mental health professional or by a licensed trainer.
The exact steps are below:
- Pay an application fee ranging from $100 to $200 and submit the required documentation to the local emotional support animal certification agency.
- Pass an examination administered by the institute in order to receive their certification.
The overall process might take a few days to one week, depending on the queue. After you’ve received your emotional support animal certification, you can use it as a proof that your companion animal is actually an emotional support animal.
While this process might seem easy, there comes a certain hurdle since you’re living in Illinois. Laws in Illinois prevent people from acquiring instant certifications online. This means that the examination you have to pass in order to get emotional support animal certification has to be legit and comes from people who really understand your condition.
That’s why, instead of going to a certification agency, it’s much quicker to discuss this with your therapist or psychiatrist, who can write you a letter affirming that you indeed have disabilities and need support from an emotional support animal. This is especially true if you have a serious mental illness like Schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
The letter from your psychiatrist can be used as a certification that the ESA needs to be treated in the most effective way. Since it’s required by law, this letter is recognized by all ESA certification agencies in Illinois.
In conclusion, the process for obtaining ESA certification in Illinois is simple and fast. However, letters from your therapist or psychiatrist is a better option if you want to use it as proof to your landlord in allowing your pet into your residence. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get certification using a local agency, but it is more recommended to get a letter instead.