Emotional Support Animal Letter: 5 Titbit Things to Reconsider

Introduction to Emotional Support Animal Letter

Most people experience severe emotional or psychological difficulty at some point. According to recent estimates, one in five Americans gets a mental condition.

ESAs {emotional support animals} is quite beneficial to people with mental or psychological issues. They help the patients to lead productive lives by giving them unconditional companionship and support. Most people use their ESAs in combination with medication, holistic treatments, and behavioral therapy.

The essence of ESAs in the management of mental health issues has been recognized by federal law. This law has certain protections for ESA owners to enable them to live and travel comfortably with the animals.

However, to access these legal protections and other benefits, you should first get an emotional support animal letter from a certified healthcare professional.

There are several misconceptions on the acquisition of an ESA letter. The article below will hopefully help you clear any confusion about the letter as it answers the common questions you might have.

Why Should An ESA Letter Be Written By A Therapist Or Doctor?

The federal guidelines on the protections accorded to people with ESAs are clear on who should write an ESA letter. Under the Fair Housing and Air Access Carrier Acts, only a licensed healthcare professional, at times called a licensed mental health professional, can write an ESA letter.

The professionals in this instance range from psychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, doctors, and other certified professionals handling mental health conditions.

It is tempting to get your ESA letter from unlicensed companies and individuals because the process seems faster and inexpensive.

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Even so, airlines, landlords, and HOAs will not accept this letter. You also lose credibility among housing providers and airlines when you present a fake ESA letter. This might cause make it challenging to get accommodation and flights in the future.

The Elements of a Genuine ESA Letter

With the many unscrupulous websites and companies now offering ESA letters, it is easy for someone to take advantage of your naivety then give you a fake letter.

Since most people are none the wiser, they will only realize this after paying the service provider. Below are some of the elements you should look for in your ESA letter to ascertain its legitimacy:

  • The signature and letterhead of a licensed healthcare professional.
  • Date of the letter’s issuance.
  • The license number of the healthcare professional issuing the letter along with the date of its issue and the state that issued it.
  • Contact details of the healthcare professional issuing the letter in case an airline or your landlord wants to get in touch with him/her to verify the letter’s authenticity. You might also need to contact the therapist to sign some additional documents in the future.
  • A confirmation that an ESA is essential to help you manage the symptoms of your condition.
  • An approval for an ESA.
  • Particulars on the pet {breed, type, and name, among others} are sometimes included though they are not compulsory.

How Do You Ask A Therapist To Write You An ESA Letter?

You might already be undergoing therapy for your mental health issue. If this is the case, you can ask your therapist to write an ESA letter for you if he/she is among the licensed healthcare professionals.

The therapist will, however, only write the letter if he/she feels that your condition can benefit from an ESA. Most patients are not courageous enough to request an ESA letter believing that the therapist or doctor will judge them and reject the request.

Though your therapist might turn down the request, it will not hurt you to try and ask him/her if you believe an ESA will benefit you.

Remember that some doctors are not as knowledgeable about ESAs and the laws governing them. As such, some might turn down your request because this is unfamiliar territory to them.

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If your therapist is not so conversant with ESAs, consider using an online platform to get a professional who is well-versed with ESAs. Discuss your condition and hopes with an ESA with the online therapist to see what he/she thinks.

With his/her experience, you can expect a judgment-free and understanding environment when talking to the therapist. If he/she sees the benefit of an ESA for your condition, you can get your letter online.

How to Get an ESA Letter Online

As stated, only a licensed healthcare professional can give you a valid ESA letter. Fortunately, there are many licensed professional that work online from whom you get the letter. Getting an ESA letter online is much the same as getting it in-person. Here are the basic steps of getting an ESA letter online:

  • You will first get to the website of the licensed healthcare professional and fill a questionnaire. The questionnaire generally comprises your basic information and the details of your mental health issue. After submitting the questionnaire, a therapist contacts you for an interview over the phone. He/she will want to know more about your mental health condition at this time so that he/she can assess whether or not an ESA will be beneficial.
  • If the specialist thinks an ESA will benefit you, he/she will write a recommendation letter for you.
  • The letter will be sent to your email from where you can download it and print it. You will get the hard copy letter a few days later in your mail.

How Will You Know An ESA Website Is Legitimate?

With the many websites offering ESA letters, it might be challenging to know which one is genuine. Below are some tips for discerning a legitimate ESA website:

  1. Does it connect you to a licensed healthcare provider?

Be wary of websites that simply sell ESA letters or give you unreliable licenses, vests or registrations that purport to qualify your animal as an ESA.

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A legitimate website will always connect you with a licensed healthcare professional who will assess your need for an ESA.

Instant approval for your ESA letter is also a big red flag since a healthcare professional will take some time to go through and approve your application.

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  1. Does the website offer ESA registration services?

ESAs are not meant to be registered. There exists no governing authority for ESA registration. Furthermore, there is no authorized licensing or certification process for an ESA. All you need to access the benefits of owning an ESA is an ESA letter.

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  1. Is the service dirt-cheap?

The opportunity to save a few bucks is no doubt welcome when getting an ESA letter. Moreover, the cost of getting an ESA letter from an online service provider is often lower than when you see the therapist in-person.

Even so, no licensed healthcare professional will offer his/her services for too low a price. Websites offering dirt-cheap prices might not be legitimate. Compare the costs of an ESA letter across different websites beforehand so that you know the price range you can expect.

With a legitimate ESA letter, owning an ESA will be a breeze. This means that you will have the peace of mind to enjoy all the benefits associated with owning the animal for your mental health.

Now that you know everything you should when getting an ESA letter, find a licensed therapist to write one for you if you qualify for an ESA.

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