Bringers of Calming Comfort and Companionship: Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)
Pets have the power to make us feel loved, needed and important. For some people, they can ease anxiety and help fight bouts of depression or self-destructive tendencies. ESAs are pets that bring their owners some type of relief from symptoms of a mental disability. This comes in the form of natural love, affection, and support that comes from a pet’s companionship. Since an ESA can help their owners live a more normal and stable life, Licensed Mental Health Practitioners (LMHPs) sometimes prescribe them as an important part of their patients’ mental health plan. ESAs have more rights than normal pets and are allowed to live and fly with their owners.
What is an ESA Letter and Why Do You Need One
In order for an ESA to be legitimate, it must be recommended by an LMHP in a written letter. ESAs are intended for people who truly need their animal’s presence to function more normally, not just people who want to take their pet on a flight or get around “no pets” housing policies. ESAs are given legal protections because of the service they provide to their owners, so their status must be legitimate to be recognized. In order to take your ESA on a flight, you will have to submit your letter to the airline for verification. In order to live in “no pets” housing with your ESA and to have fees and weight and breed restrictions waived, you will have to present a genuine ESA letter to your landlord.
Information That Should Be Included in a Legitimate ESA Letter
An ESA letter will establish the reason for the recommendation of an ESA and the symptoms that the animal helps to relieve. After an LMHP does an evaluation of your mental health and determines that you qualify for an ESA, they will write information about your diagnosis in the letter.
Additionally, the letter will include specific ways that the ESA fits into the bettering of your mental well-being. It will often mention the federal laws that protect people with disabilities and their ESAs including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. If your LHMP is familiar with any relevant literature that may support the decision to prescribe an ESA, they may make mention of where it can be accessed.
Who Can Write an ESA Letter?
ESA letters must be written by LHMPs to be legitimate. Common examples of LHMPs include therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Though these are not the only providers that can write a genuine ESA letter, they are the most common. Some states have different standards as to who can write an ESA letter but in general, it is limited to licensed professionals who specialize in the mental health field. Typically, doctors who do not specialize in mental health, such as cardiologists, are not considered to be qualified to prescribe an ESA. Be sure to check your state laws before you decide who should write your ESA letter.
ESAs Have Legal Rights to Help Their Owners Get Through the Day
Because ESAs help alleviate the symptoms of their owner’s mental disability, they are granted more legal rights and protections than regular pets. No one should ever have to choose between safe, affordable housing and their mental health. ESAs are protected by the Fair Housing Act (FHA) that helps protect people with disabilities from being discriminated against when seeking housing and during the tenancy. The FHA prevents landlords from denying housing for ESA owners regardless of any “no pets” policies that may exist. Additionally, it prevents them from charging additional fees to house ESAs or enforcing breed or weight restrictions.
The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) ensures that ESA owners never have to fly without the comfort and support of their pet. It requires airlines to allow ESAs to fly in the main cabin with their owners and prevents them from charging any animal travel fees.
Be Wise When Printing Out an Emotional Support Animal Letter Template- Get Legitimate ESA Letter with ESACare!
Using a genuine online ESA service is an easy way for many people to be quickly connected with an LMHP for an ESA letter. Unfortunately, many scam services exist that don’t provide true ESA letters, which can get you into a lot of trouble.
ESACare is a trusted ESA service that has LMHPs that are licensed to practice in your state. They will evaluate your mental health and determine if you are qualified to get an ESA letter. If you do qualify, your legitimate ESA letter will be provided quickly and hassle-free. They even offer packages that will make renewing your ESA letter affordable and easy and will help you if you ever need additional verification after your letter is printed. Using ESACare means that you can live and fly with your ESA worry-free.