Owning a pet is much different from owning an emotional support animal(ESA Letter). Owners can sometimes leave their pets home while they get to their day-to-day activities because their health does not depend on it. That is not the case with emotional support animals who provide their handlers with a certain kind of presence that seems to ease away their mental health concerns.
Emotional support animals are the ones you can turn to when you need to feel choked and less of yourself. Their usefulness, however, is not embraced by everyone, and this makes them require a particular form of approval before being allowed into some public places.
The approval needed to get an ESA letter is easy when you know what you need and what process to take. This article is to carefully let you know the basics and essential information of what an ESA letter is for and why you would need it.
What Is An ESA Letter?
There is the part of knowing a word and another of knowing what it means and is used for. Knowing an ESA letter would help you understand its importance and why you need it if getting an emotional support animal is your following line of action.
An Emotional Support Animal Letter (ESA letter) is an official document approved and signed by a LICENSED mental health professional. It is often also referred to as an Emotional Support Animal Prescription Letter.
The letter is to certify to those who may be concerned that your animal is not just a pet you fancy but one that gives you emotional support and is a part of your mental health treatment.
Emotional Support Animals can help ease depression, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), agoraphobia, and anxiety which places them as more important than just pets.
Why Do I Need An ESA Letter?
The meaning of the ESA letter has been established, but that may not capture the full importance nor answer your questions about why you would need one. An ESA letter is for you and your Emotional support animal; it seeks to protect you and your ESA’s best interest.
With lots of people not being comfortable about having animals around them or looking at those who own them with a derogatory stance, this letter shields you from those bad experiences.
The most important benefits of having an ESA letter include:
- FLYING WITH YOUR ANIMAL: Most airlines do not allow animals on flights and have rules and regulations that help guide these rules. However, to protect your interest ESA letter will enable airlines to exempt you and lets you fly with your Emotional support animal beside you.
- HOUSING LAWS ON PETS: Some housing laws, even at the federal level, that limit you from owning pets in rented apartments. Several homeowners adhere strictly to these rules and may have a hard time when you desire to bring your ESA to come to live with you. Your possession of an ESA letter rules out the effect of these rules and regulations specifically for you and your ESA.
- THE EXTRA PET CHARGES: Other laws demand that you pay extra charges for owning a pet in an apartment or flying with a pet. An ESA letter seamlessly helps you avoid these charges, however genuine they may seem.
The power of the ESA is derived from the Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA) and The Fair Housing Act (FHA).
Essential Content Of An ESA Letter
For an ESA letter to be able to serve its intended purpose, there are certain things it must contain, which others see and act according to the letter’s requirements.
Genuine and Authentic ESA letters always have professional letterhead and must also include the following:
- SIGNATURE: Your ESA letter must contain the genuine signature of your mental health physician, who is licensed. It is essential to have a licensed physician because their judgments are better trusted.
- PHYSICIAN’S DETAILS: Your physician’s signature is insufficient to prove their legitimacy. The letter should include the contact and details of where your physician practices. There should also be proof that you are under the physician’s care.
- PROOF OF MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS: Your ESA letter must include evidence that you are indeed suffering from the listed mental health conditions that require your ownership of an ESA.
- CONFIRMATION OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH CONDITION: In your ESA letter is proof that your condition prevents you from doing some basic human activities.
- YOUR ESA IS FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT: There must be a statement from your professional physician that your Emotional support animal is a part of the treatment for your mental health conditions.
How Long Is My ESA Letter Valid?
Since ESA letters are issued based on treating mental health concerns, it doesn’t last forever. An ESA letter lasts for a year; when it expires, you must be cleared as qualified to have it for another year.
Your qualifications for it the previous year do not in any way give you a guarantee of qualifying for it for another year. Your licensed mental health physician still has to determine your status and see if you need an ESA or not.
How Can My ESA Be Verified?
You may have submitted your ESA to your landlord or flight company and wonder how they could verify the letter’s authenticity. You could ask why the need for verification; this is because some people use ESA letters to boycott paying for their pets on a flight and may submit fake ESA letters.
The easy verification of your ESA letter depends on the information provided in the letter. This includes the contact details of your physician, who would be called the one who authorized the letter.
If you’re taking a flight, it’s best to notify early enough to avoid flight delays.
Emotional Support Animals are great companions to their handlers, who derive immense comfort from their presence.
ESA letters are the absolute best instrument to protect you and your Emotional support animal from laws, rules, and regulations that may want to set you apart.
Get an ESA letter and keep on enjoying the comfort of your ESA with no difficulty.