Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter Guide

What is Emotional Support Animal letter

Millions of people across the world struggle with some kind of emotional issues that affect their day-to-day lives. Whether the issues are related to anxiety, OCD, depression, or other mental issues, there is a remarkable concern that a wide range of people is struggling with mental health issues, and it is continuously rising. According to specific estimates, 1 in 5 Americans might have a mental illness. 

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) Letter helps people in distress. Many people combine ESA with medication, therapy, and other resources in order to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other illness. 

In order to get a legit support animal, you would require to attain an emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health professional. Nevertheless, you have to be careful while attaining this letter, as varied ESA scams are associated with ESA letters.

There is a wide range of misconceptions regarding what is an ESA letter, and what rights do ESA letter owners get, and what are the benefits of ESA letters? Here is all you need to know about the ESA letter. 

What is Emotional Support Animal Letter?

An emotional support animal letter is a prescription letter that is obtained from a licensed mental health professional. The prescription states that you attain benefit from the companionship provided to you by your pet. 

The letter helps you in having legitimate animal support. In order to get an ESA letter, you need to speak with a licensed mental health worker. This letter confirms that you need the support of your animal. The letter also includes the statement that you are under the care of a therapist or medical health professional who has prescribed you to have the emotional support of an animal because he or she helps you in alleviating the symptoms of your mental illness. 

Who can Qualify for Having an ESA Letter?

You might be thinking about who can get an ESA letter. People who have diagnosed mental health issues and have taken treatment through counseling, medications, or therapy qualify for an ESA letter. In addition to this, people whose certain symptoms are treated with the help of the presence of an animal also qualify for an ESA letter. 

Individuals should have any one or more of the below mentioned mental health issues in order to qualify for an emotional support animal letter.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Any Phobia
  • Other Mental and Emotional Disorders

A person who is qualified by a licensed mental health professional for an ESA letter might attain the below-mentioned benefits by the companionship of an animal.

  • Lower blood pressure of less stress
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Fewer anxiety-related symptoms or panic attacks
  • Improved functioning in daily tasks
  • Improved motivation and sense of general well being
  • Increased ability to be and spend time with people
  • The feeling of comfort and security in places where individuals might feel insecure 

Why Do You Need a Legitimate ESA Letter?

Federal guidelines and rules provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Department of Transportation provide appropriate answers for why you need a legitimate ESA letter. A valid and authentic emotional support animal letter must be provided by a licensed healthcare professional. Licensed healthcare professionals include psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, licensed counselors, and other licensed professionals. 

You should avoid getting your letter from unlicensed people who claim to provide instant ESA letters, as landlords, HOAs, or airlines might not recognize the letter. 

What are the Benefits of ESA Letter?

Under the rules of housing and air travel, the emotional support animals are not regular pets. It means any building or airline policies that are applicable to normal pets are not applicable to an ESA.

Emotional support animals have specific rights that normal pets do not have. A legitimate emotional support animal letter provides permission that your animal can live with you in a housing facility, even if the facility does not allow pets. Tenants who have emotional support animals do not need to pay extra deposits or fees for their ESA. In addition to this, landlords cannot restrict an ESA because of its weight or specific breed. The letter also helps in ensuring that your pet can fly on an airplane with you at no extra charges. Below mentioned are the benefits of an ESA letter.

  1. Rentals

Many housing societies, apartments, and rental units do not allow animals, or they charge a huge fee to allow pets on the premises. If you have a legitimate ESA letter, then some of this fee might be waived off, and you might be allowed to keep your pet with you in the apartment or in the areas that are not permitted. 

  1. Travel

If you have a legitimate ESA letter, then you can travel with your pet. You do not have to panic, and you can calm down your nerves when you travel with your pet on an airplane, trains, or boats that do not allow pets. 

  1. Stores

Certain stores do not allow pets in their stores as they are not happy with pet walking in their building. However, if you have an ESA letter, they might allow you to keep your pet with you while you walk in the store. 

Related: How an ESA helps a person with disability

How to Get Emotional Support Animal Letter?

The importance of ESAs is recognized by federal laws. Certains protection is provided to the ESA owners under federal laws. These laws allow the owners to live and fly with their ESAs without paying extra fees. 

If you want an emotional support animal, then, first of all, you should know that the only place from where you can obtain it is a licensed healthcare professional. 

There is a wide range of misinformation about how to get an ESA letter. You need to have valid documentation as, without it, you can have benefits enjoyed by ESA owners under the Air Carrier Access Act or Fair Housing rules. 

It is essential for you to get your ESA letter from an authentic and right source. Otherwise, your landlord would impose a heavy fine on you for having a pet in the house. In addition to this, airline companies would also not allow you to travel with your pet. 

There is a wide range of fraud websites and companies that try to take advantage of people seeking for an ESA letter. There are different websites that sell things like licenses, registrations, certificates, or ID cards claiming this will qualify the pert as an ESA. However, these products are not sufficient to qualify your pet as an ESA. The only way to attain an ESA is to obtain it from a licensed healthcare professional. So you should avoid believing in fraud companies. 

If you do not have a mental health professional, then you can also get a letter from your physician. The doctor should describe how you would benefit from the companionship of your emotional support animal. You should be aware that though doctors can provide ESA letters, they might not agree to provide it, as they are not aware of the mental health of the patient, or they might not know what an ESA is or what it entails. 

What are the Elements of the Legitimate ESA Letter?

Another way of making sure that your ESA letter is legitimate is by knowing the elements of the letter. Below mentioned are the elements that your ESA letter should have.

  • Signature and letterhead of a mental health professional. It should also have a date of issuance.
  • The license type of the mental health professional and issue date of the license, state that issues the license and license number. 
  • Confirmation that ESA is an essential part of your life.
  • Description of how ESA will help you in your condition.
  • Recommendation or prescription for an ESA.
  • It is not essential to have your name and details about the type of pet, but it is often included in the letter.

Can you Get Emotional Support Animal Letter Online?

We will emphasize again that the only person who could give an ESA letter is a licensed healthcare professional. Fortunately, the people who do not have a therapist or the ones who are having trouble in finding a professional can attain the letter from licensed professionals who provide services online. 

ESA letters obtained from licensed professionals who work remotely are valid. Remote therapists provide service to people who do not have a professional or the none who can not see a professional in person. Either you see the professional online, or in person, you should make sure that the person is licensed for your state. 

There are varied websites that provide things like IDs, licenses, certifications, or registrations for ESAs. Nevertheless, these registration papers will not be accepted when you show them to any airlines or landlords. There is no official registry for registering ESAs. In addition to this, there are no such things as a license or official certification for ESAs, and IDs are not sufficient to qualify for an ESA. 

How can You Recognize Reliable and Legitimate ESA Websites?

  1. Connect to a Website that Connects You with Licensed Professional

An authentic website will never directly provide you an ESA ID, certificate, or registration paper. The site will connect you with a licensed mental health professional that works to provide legitimate services. The professional will use their judgments to determine whether you need an ESA letter. 

  1. Authentic Websites Matches you with LHCP 

ESA doctors who are a present online match you with an incensed professional to check whether you qualify for an ESA. Your answers will be reviewed by LHCP that is licensed for your state, and they will contact you directly. It is an efficient and cost-effective procedure to check whether you need an emotional support dog letter if you like a dog or emotional support animal letter in case of any other animal. 

  1. Authentic Websites Provide ESA letter through Licensed Professional

If the licensed professional approves you for ESA and determines that you should have ESA, then they will provide an ESA letter or recommendation letter on their letterhead. Once you get this letter, you can show it to an airline or your landlord and request accommodation for your ESA. 

How to Avoid ESA Scams?

It is highly essential for you to be careful of the scams in order to avoid negative outcomes. Any website that is providing instant ESA letter or approval without matching you with a licensed mental health professional is not valid, and you should avoid getting an ESA letter from it.  

Below mentioned are some of the things that you should look out while getting an ESA letter. 

  1. ESA Registration 

It is not required to register the emotional support animals. There are no governing bodies that work for registering emotional support animals. If you show registered ESA to any landlord or airlines, they will deny your ESA. In addition to this, there is no licensing process or certification procedure for ESAs. You need to have an ESA letter in order to get the benefits.

  1. Immediate Approval

You never get an instant approval for an ESA. A licensed health professional will evaluate your requirements for ESA. It requires time to approve individuals for ESAs. A legit service will never assure that you will get an ESA, as in order to get an ESA letter, you must be qualified by a licensed professional. The professionals evaluate whether you qualify, and then only they provide the letter. 

  1. Cheap Letters

A legitimate emotional support letter is provided by a licensed health professional. It is not a cheap process. Websites might offer you an ESA letter at a low price; however, licensed professionals do not provide the service at cheap prices. If you find a website providing an ESA letter without involving a licensed professional, then it is probably not legitimate. 

Always keep in mind that carrying a fake ESA letter could lead you to trouble. In fact, it might end up putting you in the blacklist of an airline or property manager. It can also cause you serious embarrassment. Therefore, always opt for getting an ESA letter from an authentic website that connects you with a licensed professional.