The only way you can ensure proper treatment for yourself and your emotional support pet is by getting an emotional support animal letter. However, there are many misconceptions about emotional support animals, the registration process, and the benefits that come with them. In this article, we will give you reliable information on how to get an emotional support animal for when you fly and to show your landlord.
Why do You Need a Doctor to Prescribe an Emotional Support Animal?
The law is very clear when it comes to this question. In order to get a valid emotional support animal letter, it needs to come from a licensed mental health professional. Licensed mental health professionals include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed therapists.
If you get your letter or license from anyone else, you might as well flush it down the drain as airlines or housing facilities won’t recognize it.
Be careful where you get your ESA letter from
Many people experience some kind of psychological or emotional difficulty in their everyday lives.
In these situations, an emotional support animal can help the person through love and companionship. That’s why it’s important that the animal can live with you and travel with you as needed. The rights emotional support animals get come with an emotional support animal letter. Once you get the letter, you can have your pet live with you even in housings that otherwise don’t allow pets. In addition, your pet will be able to fly with you in the cabin of an airplane with no additional cost.
This is all great news. However, what’s not so good is the fact that there are some people who try to take advantage of unsuspecting pet owners. There are many websites that claim to offer legitimate emotional support animal letters, but most of these websites are scams. There have been many reports of people getting their ESA letter online, only to later find out that the letter was fake and their time and money were wasted.
To avoid these scams, you need to know who can and who can’t provide an ESA letter.
Elements of a Legitimate ESA Letter
Knowing what an emotional support animal letter contains is another way to prevent fraud.
This is what your ESA letter needs to have:
- Mental health professional’s letterhead and signature, as well as date of issuance
- Mental health professional’s license type, date of license, license number, and the state that issued the license
- Acknowledgement that you have been evaluated by the licensed therapist for a mental health condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Confirmation that the condition is significantly affecting your daily activities and that an emotional support animal is a vital part of your life
- Description of how the animal will help the condition
- Prescription for an ESA
- Your name and details about your pet (type, breed, name, etc.) is not required but may be included
- An assessment of your fitness to provide proper care to the animal
Ask a Doctor for an Emotional Support Animal Letter
Like we have already explained above, only a licensed mental health professional can prescribe a valid emotional support animal letter.
If you’re already in therapy for a mental condition, ask your therapist for a letter. Your therapist will decide whether a pet can really help in your recovery. If it can, you will get your emotional support animal letter in no time and with minimum hassle.
If you’re not already in therapy, you have two options.
The first option is starting therapy by seeing a mental health professional and explaining your situation. After the doctor has determined whether your condition qualifies for an emotional support animal, you can get your letter.
You need to be aware that some doctors aren’t quick to write an emotional support animal letter. There are a few reasons for this. Some doctors simply don’t believe that ESAs can help treat mental disorders. However, the worst thing is that the doctors see more and more people who just want a free airplane pass for their pet. Hence, whoever comes to them specifically to ask for an emotional support animal letter immediately gets rejected
There are pros and cons of asking a doctor for an emotional support animal letter in person. The main pro is that you can be sure you will get a valid letter. The number one reason some people don’t go down this route is that it can be very expensive and time-consuming.
The other option for getting an ESA letter is looking for providers online.
Getting an Emotional Support Animal Letter Online
We have said it before, and we will say it again so it gets carved into your memory.
By law, the only person who can prescribe a recognized emotional support animal letter is a licensed mental health professional.
You need to always keep this information in mind.
Also, keep in mind that there are sites that provide fake ESA letters and offer to list your pet in so-called emotional support animal registries. However, there is no official registry. On the same note, nobody can buy a registered emotional support animal.
However, connecting with a real licensed therapist from ESA Doctors can ensure that you get a valid emotional support animal letter.
How can You Recognize Reliable Websites from Scammers?
First of all, any website that doesn’t offer to connect you with a mental health professional is a scam.
On the other hand, websites that offer to ease and speed up communication with licensed therapists are the real thing. These websites don’t simply offer letters in exchange for your money. Instead, they offer to connect you with professionals who are licensed and authorized to prescribe an emotional support animal letter.
You will need to answer some questions, and the website will forward your answers to licensed therapists. Then, the therapist in your area will then review your answers and contact you directly.
When it’s determined that you could actually benefit from an ESA, you will receive the letter. The letter will arrive in both electronic and paper form to your home address. Once you get it, you get the benefits that come along with it.
Red Flags for Fake ESA Letters
- Low Cost Letters – A legitimate ESA letter is written by a licensed mental health professional. These therapists and doctors value their time and level of education. If you find a cheap alternative, your letter may not be from a licensed therapist that can legally assist you.
- ESA Registration Services – Emotional support animals are not required to be registered. There is no governing body that registers emotional support animals. Airlines and landlords will DENY your “registered ESA” if you do not have a legitimate ESA letter.
- Instant Approval – A licensed therapist must evaluate your needs for an ESA. You cannot be instantly approved for an ESA letter. It takes time to evaluate each individual by a licensed mental health professional.
The Benefits you Get with an Emotional Support Animal Letter
Emotional support animals have certain rights that regular pets don’t have.
A legitimate emotional support animal letter can ensure that your pet can fly with you on an airplane at no additional cost. In addition, the letter allows your pet to live in a housing facility that generally doesn’t allow pets. You’ll also be free from paying any pet deposits for housing or monthly pet fees.
Although ESAs don’t require any special training, they need to behave well, be calm and responsive to owner’s commands.
Get your emotional support animal letter online.
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