To get an emotional support animal letter, you have to talk to your licensed mental health professional (LMHP) and tell them how an ESA can help provide emotional support. If approved, you will receive an emotional support animal letter on the LMHP letterhead.
Millions of people suffer from mental health problems. So, it’s no surprise that 1 in every 4 Americans either has depression, PTSD, OCD, Phobias, or anxiety. This significant rise in the no. of mental health cases have led to concerns and caused the people to turn to solutions openly available out there.
One of the best solutions that have gained maximum traction in the past few years is the provision of an emotional support animal certification. Now, if you wonder what a support letter is? Well, the definition is very simple.
An emotional support animal letter is an official document recommended and signed by licensed health physicians. The letter contains details such as the mental health physician's license no, patient’s details and medical information.
However, it has to be kept in mind that the letter is only given to qualified patients. In other words, if you have a mental health condition, you can request your therapist to provide the letter and seek privileges associated with it to lead a healthy life.
The only problem is that scams related to ESA certification are on the rise. To prevent yourself from falling into the trap of fraudulent services, you have to first understand how to get an emotional support animal letter? And to do the same you have to apply online and figure out the process.
To get an emotional support animal letter online you have to follow the below-mentioned steps:
The process will hardly take more than 15 minutes and the best part is that you can use it to rent accommodation without having to pay extra fees. Not only this but you can also rent apartments with a “no pet” policy.
However, make sure that you fill in all the details carefully while applying online, and don’t forget to submit the necessary documents. For instance, the existing medical records.
The medical records will help the therapists or mental health physicians evaluate your mental health condition properly. If you qualify for the evaluation process, you will immediately receive a soft copy of the certification via email. You can download the copy and use it the same day for one year from the date of issuance.
To qualify for an emotional support animal letter you need a qualifying mental health condition. Under the American With Disabilities Act, an individual with mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and chronic stress can easily qualify for the letter.
However, you need to keep in mind that these mental health conditions are broadly categorized to ensure no individual faces societal discrimination. So, using the laws to illegally receive benefits from the letter can land you in trouble.
Interestingly, the laws regarding emotional support animals are not limited to people who have emotional stress due to physical disabilities. So, unlike the service animal laws, these laws do not directly fall under the federal category. Moreover, any emotional support animal can provide therapeutic contact in a clinical setting to improve the patient’s mental health as a part of an existing treatment plan.
Patients with an official emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health professional are entitled to a few privileges and advantages listed under the Fair Housing Act. Besides these privileges, an emotional support animal letter also helps provide easier access to ESA’s.
Under the Fair Housing Act patients with a qualifying mental health condition or a disability as listed in the Americans with Disabilities ACT can rent decent accommodation with or without no pet policies.
Because the letter is an official gateway to access an ESA legally. You can manage your mental health condition and continue to live with your pet as long as you feel that it helps you alleviate the symptoms of a serious mental health condition.
Ideally, people are required to pay additional charges to rent accommodation with a pet or an ESA. With the help of an emotional support animal letter, you don't have to pay additional charges. The best part is that you can show the letter to prove that the ESA helps you deal with mental health issues.
You can live with your pet in a college dorm provided you have an official written letter from your therapist. The Fair Housing Act also allows college students to live with their ESA’s. However, the college authorities have the right to ask for proof.
The laws associated with an ESA do not require you to train your ESA. You can live and travel with your ESA without having to train them. However, it has to keep in mind that the choice of training is completely personal. You can train your ESA if required.
With the help of the support letter, you can explain to the concerned authorities that you have a qualifying mental health condition and an official letter that provides protection against societal discrimination. You can use these privileges in your favor and ensure legal protection.
Yes, a mental health physician can write an emotional support animal letter as long as they have an active state-license. You can also request it from your family therapist or a psychiatrist you're seeing for your treatment, especially if you feel your mental health condition improves in the presence of an emotional support animal.
It is also vital to note that only licensed mental health physicians can write a support letter. A therapist or an LMHP is someone who can help patients suffering from depression and anxiety to manage overall mental health well-being.
These licensed professionals have the authority to provide the necessary support to patients. Be it emotional or medical. So, for those who think an ESA can help them lead a better life, they can talk to their therapist and the doctor will help determine whether an ESA is a better option or not.
If a patient qualifies, the licensed mental health physician can provide an ESA letter stating that the concerned patient has a mental health condition and the emotional support animal is a part of the treatment plan
If the question pertains to who can write an emotional support animal letter the answer is very simple and the law allows only licensed mental health professionals to provide the necessary documentation. Below is the list of health professionals who can help you get an ESA Letter:
Make sure that you seek only the above-mentioned health professionals to get the emotional support animal letter. If the need arrives, you can also ask your family doctor or mental health counselor to provide ESA certification.
In contrast, when you make an appointment with a new therapist ensure that the professional holds an active license. This way you will naturally steer away from falling into the trap of fraud ESA services.
In addition to this, you should also keep in mind that anyone who gets a fake ESA letter most likely will face fines, jail time, or different dire consequences. So, it’s best to bring up the topic of an emotional support animal with a therapist or a mental health doctor currently taking care of your problem.
The doctor will be able to understand your symptoms better. They have your medical records which help them decide what works best for you. If approved, the doctor will most likely incorporate the ESA with your existing treatment plan.
For patients who do not have an existing treatment plan can take the help of telehealth consultation. There are several doctors out there who provide health consultation through digital platforms.
We have a team of licensed mental health physicians who can help you get an ESA letter within minutes. All you have to do is apply online, have a face-to-face consultation with the doctor over a video call, and share your medical history.
Once approved, you will get your letter in a PDF format at your email address. However, make sure that you get the letter from doctors who have experience, knowledge, and who do not ask you to register your emotional support animal.
A legitimate emotional support animal letter is an official document that consists of the patient’s medical information along with the doctor’s signature and licenses no. The format of the ESA Letter may vary from doctor to doctor. However, details such as the patient's name, type of ESA, medical condition, remains the same.
To put things into perspective, below is a list of things that will help you analyze what an emotional support animal letter should look like:
In addition to this, the letter must contain verifiable information such as the doctor’s license no. and the address of the clinic. If you want to look for other details you can look for information regarding the pet and the certificate ID no. of the concerned emotional support animal.
However, before you get the support letter make sure that you have the doctor’s physical location checked. Especially in the case of online consultation. A legitimate doctor will definitely have a physical location of the clinic to practice and provide medical support to in-clinic patients.
This along with proof of license is also one factor that you can take into consideration prior to applying for an emotional support animal letter online. For the same, you can request the doctor to show the license or simply check it on the state government registries.
Moreover, if you keep all these steps in mind you will be able to save yourself from fraudulent services. In fact, not even the smartest online hackers will be able to fool you once you follow all these guidelines.
With the no. of fake emotional support animal letter cases rising, it has become vital to understand what a genuine emotional support animal letter service will provide you. Here’s how you can tell whether a service is fake or not:
An emotional support animal letter can only be written by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). And the categories of doctors include a professional counselor, a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, a therapist, or a nurse practitioner. The afore-mentioned professionals must have a working license.
A mental health physician or the service provider must reside in the same state as you. Out-of-state licenses will most likely be rejected by landlords and other authorities. So, make sure that you get your support letter from a doctor who holds the license of the same state as you.
For patients suffering from mental health issues, it is vital to either screen the symptoms and medical records either digitally or through in-clinic visits. If the concerned service is offering you the support letter without screening, you are most likely to get a fake letter.
First and foremost, you need to understand that there’s no such thing as registering your emotional support animal. The concept of ESA clearly dictates that if a person suffering from mental health issues receives help from a pet, they can request their therapist to write an emotional support animal letter.
No, a landlord cannot reject an emotional support animal letter for housing. Under the Fair Housing Act, anyone with a disability, be it mental or physical, is allowed to rent decent accommodation and the law prevents landlords from discriminating against tenants.
Even if the landlord or the property owner has a no pets policy, they are obliged to provide decent accommodation. In particular, patients who have a disabling mental or physical health issue. Besides, the landowner must waive any pet fees mentioned in the renting clause.
Furthermore, denying reasonable accommodation can lead to dire consequences because the ESA owner has every right to file a case against those who deny accommodation.
In addition to this, landlords must agree to provide an apartment that suits the requirements of both the pet and the owner. Especially if the disability claims that the renter requires the assistance of a pet or an emotional support animal, in this case.
The landlord can ask for documents such as an emotional support animal letter and see whether the concerned renter has a mental health disability or not. Upon personal satisfaction, and proof documents, the landlord must take proper accommodation facilities into account.
If the landlord still denies renting a decent accommodation, as a patient holding a legit support letter, you have the right to contact government agencies and calin your right against rental discrimination.
To file a complaint, you can file a report online with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). You can also get a print out of a HUD Discrimination form and then mail it through state postal services.
While laws protect ESA owners from any discrimination, you also have to note that housing facilities with financial hardships can deny accommodation. Below are some of the reasons why a landlord might reject an accommodation to an ESA owner:
Renting an apartment with an ESA can open doors to accidental property damage. Some landlords can incur these damages while others cannot. So, keeping the financial status of the landowner into account, the law allows these landlords to reject an emotional support letter for housing.
Different types of housing exceptions are covered by the FHA. These exceptions include rental properties with four units or less, single-family homes rented without the help of a brokerage, and houses owned by religious organizations restricting occupancy of outsiders.
The property owner or a landlord has the right to deny accommodation if the pet causes extensive monetary and physical damage to the property and neighbors. This rule most likely applies to animals who are not adept at co-existing with the human habitat.
Yes, you can get an emotional support animal letter for more than two ESA’s provided your mental health professional justifies the requirement. Under the American With Disabilities Act patients with a legitimate condition in need of emotional support, animal assistance can get the same mentioned in their letter.
Also, you have to note that renting accommodation with more than two ESA’s must be mutual consent between the landlord and the ESA owner. If your ESA’s pose a threat to the neighborhood or the property of the landlord, the owner as per law can deny accommodation.
In this case, you can train your ESA with the help of trainers or teach them basic lessons of pet etiquette at home. This will help you gain an edge over other ESA owners. More vitally, you will be able to rent an apartment that you want and live with your ESA peacefully.
It also has to be kept in mind that the law does not require ESA owners to train their pets. Training an ESA is an individual choice, and it can help those who have to travel with their ESA often. You see, a well-trained ESA will not only behave properly but also help you lead a better life in societal terms.
Airlines will not accept your emotional support animal letter. As of 2nd December 2020, the guidelines related to the emotional support animal letter for flying have changed. According to the new regulations, only trained service animals can board an airplane provided they have proof of document.
In fact, in response to the recently issued guidelines by The Department of Transportation, Alaska Airlines and six other airlines decided to not accept ESA letter applications from passengers. The rule will take effect from January 2021.
This also states the future of emotional support animals on flights is in the dark for now. Although, ESA owners still have hope. As per new rules, airline authorities can decide whether they will accept ESA's inside the cabin or not.
Overall, the future of ESA’s depends on the guidelines that will be issued by each airline in the near future. So, those of you planning on flying with an ESA can do so until January 2021, Soon after that, you will not be allowed to carry your pet on your lap, near your feet, or anywhere in-cabin. The only place you can board your ESA will be a cargo where all other animals travel or inside a carrier below your seat, provided, ofcourse, you pay an additional fee.
Unfortunately, the point of traveling with an ESA is to make sure that the owner is near the ESA. Especially, in the case of people who suffer from social anxiety. If an airline no longer allows ESA’s to board the plane, the purpose entirely fails.
Indeed, a piece of unfortunate news for people with genuine ESA requirements. However, it is also safe to say that the HUD has always taken people's vote into consideration. If people with genuine needs fight back, the chances of flying with your ESA will fall back into place.
Disclaimer - By using this site I consent to telemedicine: Telehealth means the mode of delivering health care services and public health via information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a patient's health care.