Supporting clients with their ESA needs.
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL SERVICES
EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL SERVICES
PROVIDING CLIENTS WITH THEIR ESA NEEDS.
Elliott Counseling Group is dedicated to helping everyone in our community achieve wellness and an improved quality of life. In an effort to ensure our community has access to support with ESA requests, ECG now offers Emotional Support Animal Evaluations and Emotional Support Animal letters (when deemed medically necessary).
WHAT IS AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL (ESA)?
DOES ELLIOTT COUNSELING GROUP OFFER ESA LETTERS?
At Elliott Counseling Group we are happy to support our clients’ clinical needs in regards to Emotional Support Animals. Due to the recent increases in restrictions and ethical guidelines related to Emotional Support Animals and the provider’s role in completing documentation for them -requests for ESA Evaluations and letters will be different from our standard letters process. You can view this process below.
Elliott Counseling Group has offices in Champaign, Urbana, and Mattoon.
However, we are now providing our ESA Services to those in IL through telehealth and in-person services at our Mattoon and Urbana offices.
WHAT IS AN ESA EVALUATION?
An ESA Evaluation is the process by which a client can request that their animal be categorized as an emotional support animal. It allows for your provider to do their due diligence in completing an assessment for how an ESA would be beneficial for your mental well-being, allows for your pet to be evaluated by a veterinarian, and to provide you the letter that you need.
Please note, you must already have an established relationship with the animal you are requesting for an ESA and at minimum attend 6 sessions with your therapist before an evaluation can begin. By agreeing to conduct an ESA evaluation, the therapist is not yet endorsing the use of an ESA. The final recommendation, whether approved or denied, will be provided in the Clinical Summary portion at the end of the evaluation.
Our ESA evaluation consists of:
- Emotional Support Animal Clinical Assessment (completed by therapist)
- Emotional Support Animal Vet Assessment (completed by a veterinarian)
- Emotional Support Animal Clinical Summary (therapist letter approving or denying ESA)
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF AN ESA EVALUATION AT ELLIOTT COUNSELING GROUP?
STEP ONE: SUBMIT FORMAL REQUEST THROUGH OUR WEBSITE
The first step to initiate the Emotional Support Animal (ESA) evaluation process is to submit a formal request through our website by completing the submission form HERE.
*NOTE: Our evaluation process will be conducted ONLY if you already have an established relationship with the animal.
STEP TWO: YOU WILL BE INVOICED
After you have completed the online submission form, our Medical Records Specialist will send you an invoice to collect a 50% deposit for the total cost of the evaluation.
*NOTE: Medical insurance does not cover the ESA evaluation process
STEP THREE: ESA INFORMED CONSENT
The Medical Records Specialist will also send you the ESA Informed Consent.
Please review the information in this document and sign when ready.Your therapist will also review the document with you during the evaluation process.If you have any questions about the ESA Informed Consent, you are encouraged to discuss them with your therapist before signing.
STEP FOUR: THERAPIST NOTIFICATION
Once both the deposit and ESA Informed Consent have been collected, the Medical Records Specialist will seek approval from your therapist to conduct the ESA evaluation.
If your therapist was unaware that you would be applying for an ESA, they might request to speak with you during your next scheduled appointment before giving approval to conduct the evaluation. Our therapists aim to avoid dedicating any extra time or financial resources to conduct an evaluation if they feel strongly that the evaluation would result in a denial letter.
STEP FIVE: ESA VET ASSESSMENT FORM
If your therapist agrees to conduct the evaluation, the Medical Records Specialist will reach out and provide you with the ESA Vet Assessment Form.
As part of our evaluation, we require the animal to be assessed by a licensed veterinarian, as therapists are not qualified to speak on behalf of the animal’s behavior and temperament. You will need to have your veterinarian complete the ESA Vet Assessment Form and return the completed form to our office.
STEP SIX: RELEASE OF INFORMATION
The Medical Records Specialist will also send you a Release of Information for the veterinarian.
Signing this release not only allows us to provide you with the ESA Vet Assessment Form, but the release also allows us to re-release the completed form with your housing authority if the ESA evaluation results in an approval letter.
STEP SEVEN: CLINICAL ESA ASSESSMENT
While you are working with your veterinarian to complete the ESA Vet Assessment Form and return it to our office, you will be working with your therapist to complete the ESA Clinical Assessment Form during your sessions.
Both the ESA Vet Assessment Form and the ESA Clinical Assessment Form will need to be completed and reviewed by both your therapist and a Clinical Supervisor before your therapist makes a final decision.
STEP EIGHT: A DECISION IS MADE
When all completed documents have been reviewed by both your therapist and a Clinical Supervisor, the evaluation process is complete.
The outcome of the ESA evaluation process is either an approval letter or denial letter for an ESA. Your therapist will discuss the results with you.
STEP NINE: LETTER PROCESSING/PAYMENT (IF APPROVED)
If approved, your therapist will have 2 weeks to write a letter in support of your animal becoming an ESA.
Any remaining payment will be collected at this point as well.
STEP TEN: LETTER IS SENT
The completed ESA approval letter, along with the ESA Vet Assessment Form completed by the veterinarian, will be sent to the housing authority you identified at the beginning of this process when you submitted the online form via our website. If the evaluation resulted in a denial letter, all documentation will be saved in your chart for you to access as needed.
WHAT IS THE OVERALL TIMELINE FOR AN ESA EVALUATION?
WHAT IS THE COST FOR AN ESA EVALUATION & AN ESA LETTER?
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