With a legit ESA letter, you can avail of several benefits that can improve your quality of life. In the United States, the Federal ESA laws prevent discrimination on the basis of disability in different situations. Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a landlord can’t deny housing to an ESA owner. Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), passengers can fly with their emotional support animals in-cabin without paying extra dollars. This means you can live with your ESA and avoid hefty pet fees too. But all these advantages come with an ESA letter only.
To enjoy the ESA benefits, you must have an emotional support animal letter, which shows you are genuinely getting support from your pet for managing your mental health condition.
Learn about who can prescribe an emotional support animal letter.
Can a Therapist Write an ESA Letter?
A licensed therapist can write an emotional support animal letter. These professionals help patients to develop better cognitive skills while managing symptoms of mental illnesses. Other health care professionals who are authorized to provide an ESA letter are licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatrists, or professional counselors.
Remember, if you get an ESA letter from a non-licensed doctor, it won’t be accepted by housing and dorm facilities. So, before scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional, make sure he/she is licensed to write emotional support animal letters.
How to Ask a Doctor For an ESA Letter?
To enjoy the comfort and support of an emotional support animal, you need to get a licensed mental health professional signed ESA letter. Before you ask your doctor for this letter, ensure that they are authorized to prescribe a valid letter. Your doctor will carefully check your condition, and decide whether you require animal-assisted therapy for managing your symptoms.
Here are some tips to talk to an ESA doctor-
Before you see a therapist, conduct in-depth research related to emotional support animals, ESA laws, and how pet therapy works. Spend extra time reading online articles and watching YouTube videos, and evaluate how a support dog or cat can help people with mental conditions. Also, try to learn what the importance of your dog in your life is and how is it making your life better.
Collect Your Medical Reports
When you talk to the therapist for an ESA letter, they will evaluate your condition comprehensively. They may ask you to share your medical history and reports for verification purposes. So, make sure you bring the necessary reports along with it.
Is Your Condition Listed in ESA Qualifying Conditions
To get an emotional support animal letter, you must be diagnosed with at least one of the ESA qualifying conditions. Some of these are—anxiety disorders, depression, motor skill disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). Check if your condition is included in the list.
Have Open Discussion
During your consultation with the therapist, be honest and have an open discussion related to your condition. Tell how your four-legged friend has helped you in managing your symptoms, and state all the reasons why you need animal-assisted therapy.
Also read this article: Can a Physician Write an ESA Letter?
Elements That an ESA Letter Should Contain
A legitimate emotional support animal letter should clearly state that you are suffering from a mental illness that can be managed with the help of pet therapy. It should be on the therapist’s letterhead, and should contain the following elements:
- Therapist’s name and signature
- Date of issuance
- Therapist’s license number, date of the license, and state where it’s issued
- Your name and pet details (optional)
Getting an emotional support animal letter online is a great option for those who have a busy schedule or have anxiety or shyness issues when talking to a therapist in the clinic.
You can also ask your doctor for an emotional support animal letter if they are licensed to recommend these letters in the state that you live in. Ask your doctor whether your mental health condition qualifies for an ESA and request for a letter to help manage your mental condition.
What do I tell my doctor to get an ESA letter?
You must consult your emotional support animal doctor and discuss your mental health condition when applying for an ESA letter. If your mental health condition qualifies for the use of an emotional support animal, your doctor will recommend the letter to you.
Can a veterinary doctor write an ESA letter?
A veterinary doctor cannot write an ESA letter because an ESA letter is written on the basis of the disability of the patient and not the animal’s training. Veterinarians are not qualified legally or academically in the field of mental health to make that judgement.
Can a nurse practitioner write an ESA letter?
A nurse practitioner is not eligible to write an ESA letter. The only people who can write you an ESA letter are primary care physicians, licensed mental health professionals, licensed therapists, and licensed general physicians.
Which therapist cannot write an ESA letter?
A general therapist may not be eligible to write you an ESA letter. Only a therapist licensed by the state can write you an ESA letter. In the absence of a license, your letter will be declared invalid and will not be accepted by either airlines or your landlord.
Animals are real medicines. They provide ultimate love and support to help patients with different mental illnesses promote wellness. An ESA letter allows you to fly and live with your support animal without paying extra pet travel fees or deposits. To get a legitimate emotional support animal letter, you should consult a licensed mental health professional (therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist). Be honest and calm when talking to the therapist, and state all the reasons why pet therapy is important for you.
What’s the name of your support animal? What role does your pet play in your life? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.