Emotional support animals have an immense role to play in improving the lives of people suffering from emotional or mental health issues. This is why the US laws accept ESAs as a part of therapy and even provide many advantages to people with legit ESAs. But the key here is to have a legit ESA letter.
When you think about an ESA letter, it should not be along the lines of officially registering an emotional support dog or cat with the law. Instead, it’s a certification or a letter that can only be provided by a legit medical professional or service provider.
So, here’s a simple introduction to the many steps of finding a legit provider for an ESA letter.
Look for Licensed Mental Health Professionals
Your first step should be to connect with a licensed mental health professional. As per federal laws, mental health patients can experience the benefits of an ESA letter as long as they get theirs from a legit provider. This includes a verified clinic and a licensed mental health physician.
You can always contact your mental health specialist and request them to write you a letter. It will be easier since they are already familiar with your mental condition and requirements. Another method would be to consult a specialist online through telemedicine. All you need to do is make sure that your doctor or physician has a valid license. They will evaluate your condition as per the laws and the DSM5 to determine if you qualify for an ESA letter or not.
Steer Clear From ‘Cheap’ and ‘Instant’ Services
When you see the words ‘cheap’ and ‘instant’ together you might want to think again about where you’re going. Especially when they claim to provide a letter without having to consult a therapist or mental health specialist. Any ESA provider with services that are too good to be true can often be a red flag.
As much as we can agree that telemedicine is convenient, it always leaves room for illegal services trying to scam people. This is why it’s indispensable for patients to do a thorough check of the online clinic they choose.
Asking for Registration
Is your ESA letter provider asking for the registration of your dog or cat? If yes then run away. One important thing that every patient looking for an ESA must know is that you don’t need to have any form of ‘registration.’
There’s no obligation at the federal or state level to get your pet registered as an ESA. There’s no official registry for the same. The laws, however, require you to have an ESA letter which is a simple letter written and signed by a licensed mental health professional stating that your mental health requires or can benefit from an ESA.
Questionable Steps in the Process
The process of getting an ESA letter in legit online clinics such as My ESA Doctor involves the following steps:
Register on the website.
Fill the pre-qualification form.
Have an online consultation with the doctor.
Receive the letter in your email.
If you observe any additional steps that might be questionable, you need to have another look. This may include extra charges based on dog breeds or asking for registration. Do not fall for these scams.
Look for Certifications
If you stumble upon a legit online clinic, you can find the information about their services on their website. Take your time and look for certifications that can prove the reliability of the clinic.
The most basic signs of reliable services are HIPAA compliance and BBB ratings. The HIPAA guidelines are meant to provide privacy to customers on online platforms. The BBB ratings prove the quality of the services and operations. Additionally, you would also want a clinic with an SSL certificate just to be sure that your information is safe.
Search for Reviews
Feedback can be a great tool to understand the operations and quality of service since it’s a first-hand experience of a customer.
You can start by asking your friends and family about the service you wish to take. Or take the next more convenient step of reading reviews online. There’s Yelp, Google Reviews and more where you can get some idea about the clinic and whether or not you wish to go ahead with them for your ESA letter.
24x7 Customer Service
Generally, it is only legit services that offer 24x7 customer service. They understand the importance of being responsive and catering to the needs of their patients. This is why you can give them a call whenever you are facing any issue.
At My ESA Doctor, customer executives are always ready for you. You can connect with them via phone, chat or email as per your preferences.
Go Through the Details of The Letter
The last important aspect that gives an idea about the legitimacy of a clinic are the details of the letter.
Every ESA letter written by an authorized and licensed mental health professional will include the following characteristics:
Name of the mental health specialist or clinic at the letterhead
Signature and license number of the mental health specialist.
Date of issuance.
Name of the patient and other details that may be necessary.
Details of the mental health of the patient and the reason why they need an ESA.
If you find anything missing, feel free to connect with the provider.
Now that you have the necessary information, go ahead and get your ESA letter from a legit clinic or mental health physician.