A girl with her dog working on the laptop

How to Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter?

6 min read

Do you suffer from a mental disorder and seek emotional help? Then getting an ESA may add colors into your life and help you calm your nerves. However, what you should understand is that emotional support animals are neither pets nor service animals. For this reason, if you plan to get yourself a legitimate companion animal, you might face a bit different rules in the process and you will have to follow them to stay within the law.

Let’s face it – the only legal way to pass ESA certification is to apply for and get the ESA letter. The letter is usually given by a mental health expert who will evaluate your psychological state and will guide you on your way to recovery.

What is the ESA letter exactly?

  • First, it’s your gateway into the places where animals aren’t permitted like no-pet apartments or passenger cabin in the plane.
  • Secondly, it’s the best proof that you have a mental disorder and require emotional help.
  • Thirdly, getting the letter is the only permissible way to access all sorts of benefits related to the ownership of the ESA.

Want to know how to get one? Just keep reading and you’ll discover the easiest way to receive the ESA letter legitimately and correctly.

What to consider before getting the ESA letter?

A woman at the therapist
ESA letters are only issued by state licensed medical practitoners

Before you go to the therapist and ask for the ESA certificate, it’s worth learning more about the rules of getting this document and possible restrictions. In fact, the first thing you should remember is that a legitimate ESA letter must come from a qualified medical practitioner. The professionals of this kind include:

  • Mental health doctors
  • Psychiatric nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Clinical workers
  • Counselors
  • Therapists, etc.

However, it’s the qualification of all these specialists that can make all the difference because it’s important to use the services of only certified doctors when you’re seeking the ESA letter. If you fail to do it, you may forget about your legal rights and privileges as the ESA handler because no landlord or airline will accept the fake document. To be on the safe side, just be careful when choosing the place where the document will be issued.

What’s contained in a legal ESA certificate?

Vet document

When the counselor or therapist gives you the official document proving that you are the ESA owner, the first thing you should pay attention to is the letterhead. In fact, the legal ESA certificate should only be issued on the official letterhead belonging to the doctor who gives you the document. What’s more, inside the letter, it should be stated that:

  1. You’re under mental health treatment
  2. You have mental or emotional problems
  3. The ESA is recommended in your situation as a solution to the mentioned mental disability.

The letter must also contain:

  • A few details about yourself and your future pet
  • Details about the doctor’s license and his/her signature
  • The date on which the letter was issued.

As a rule, the doctors are not obliged to describe the particular disorder in detail but should rather mention that the emotional support pet may bring the right health effects in your situation. If the letter doesn’t have some of these details, you are probably dealing with the scam service provider and your letter is not a legitimate one.

Beware of scam ESA letter providers

Wooden blocks with letters SCAM
Scam companies cheat on their clients by issuing non-existing ESA Certiificates

Lots of people in America suffer from emotional problems and sometimes, it’s especially difficult to overcome the mental disorder on one’s own. That’s exactly why emotional support animals have become a highly popular trend of the previous years.

More and more people have started to believe that a cuddly little friend can give them the necessary support and companionship apart from many other miraculous benefits. However, to make sure this therapy really works for you, you must get the ESA letter from a legitimate company. If your ESA letter is an official and legal one, it will give you access to various rights and freedoms like:

  • Traveling with the pet by plane
  • Renting apartments where pets are not permitted
  • Avoiding extra pet fees and unwanted payments.

All this is really good news. But what is also true is that some companies might try to make use of your situation and you might fall into a trap of unreliable websites who offer illegal ESA registration help. To draw a line between legal and illegal companies, you should be able to recognize the dependable websites.

Things to remember: How to identify a reliable website?

Here is what you need to be aware of when looking for the ESA letter provider:

  • The scam company would try to persuade you to use the services of a particular mental health expert instead of simply giving advice on what you should do to get the letter.
  • The legitimate company would simply make sure you reach out to the qualified therapist who has a license and can validate your need for the emotional support animal letter.
  • The legal service provider may try to speed up your communication with the doctor instead of offering the ESA letter in exchange for money.
  • Be prepared to respond to certain questions that the website will give you. Your answers will then be transferred to the qualified doctor.
  • When everything is done and ready, you will be able to get your letter. The legal company will never refuse to give you both the digital and paper versions of the certificate.

Now you know that you should not just pay for the letter to get one but to go through additional steps in order to make sure the obtained letter is legal. If all the steps are completed correctly, you’ll gain access to the fascinating merits of the ESA pet ownership as soon as you receive the letter.

Steps to getting the ESA letter: How to ask the doctor for one?

Cute beagle dog sitting on a brown welcome mat
Apply for an ESA letter and make your pet truly welcome in people world

As you might have realized, only the qualified therapist can issue the ESA letter and you must also know what steps you’ll need to take before getting yourself the furry companion.

The first and most important thing to remember is that you should talk to the doctor openly and be transparent regarding your mental health problems. Sincerity is a must in this case and it’s exactly what will help the doctor diagnose you and check if the ESA can really help you.

So, what are the steps to getting the ESA certificate? Let’s see:

  1. Identify your need for the emotional support animal
  2. Choose the right type of animal that you prefer most
  3. Talk to the therapist and tell him/her about your problems
  4. If your diagnosis is approved, wait until your letter is issued and check if it’s a legal one
  5. Enjoy your rights as an ESA handler.

Note: No official registration of the ESA pet is required. You only need to get hold of the letter to gain access to your legal freedoms and start a new life with your pet.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, there are many things to remember when receiving an ESA letter. But most importantly, you need to be sure that this type of therapy will help you fight your mental problems and add positive changes to your life.

Of course, it may seem unbelievable that such a simple thing as the pet ownership can give you the long-anticipated relief from your troubles. But what’s also true is that you never know unless you try especially because the results of treatment may differ from case to case.

If you want to test your luck in this kind of therapy, make sure you go through the process correctly by following the next tips:

  • Remember that the only way to get a legitimate assistance animal is to first apply for the ESA letter.
  • Try to ensure that you use the services of only a trusted ESA letter provider to guarantee that you get the legal document.

No matter what kind of problems you have, emotional support animals can give you the much-needed hope in the brighter future. And perhaps your ESA may even help you to restore your psychological health better than anything else.

Ready to give it a try? Then reach out to the doctor and check if the ESA therapy can really work for you.

by GetESA

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ESA 101: Educational