Everything You Need to Know about Certified Emotional Support Animal
Do you rely on your pet, whether a dog, cat or another animal, for comfort and support? Is your animal friend such an essential part of your life that you can’t imagine being without it? If that’s the case, you’ll need a document confirming the animal’s therapeutic value to you so you can bring him/ her into no-pet zones without getting into problems with the law.
An emotional support animal can save you from loneliness. Click the button below to get your ESA letter.
How to Get a Valid ESA ( Emotional Support Animal) Letter?
With 20% of the adult population suffering from mental illnesses, people are turning to domestic and rare exotic animals for companionship and comfort to ease phobias, anxieties, and other mental health issues. These are called emotional support animals, aka ESAs, and they have become more popular over the last few years. The letter that allows keeping emotional support animals is called an ESA letter. Read on to discover more about the letter, how to get it, and the privileges it allows you.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An ESA, aka an emotional support animal, is a companion animal that provides some therapeutic benefits to people with mental health issues. The animal’s purpose is to provide supportive care while also assisting in the alleviation of distress.
ESAs Are Not Service Animals
They may share some similarities, but service animals and emotional support animals are not the same. The purpose of an ESA is to provide support and affection. On the other hand, service animals help people with impairments by performing specified activities and are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, service animals have indeed been specially taught to provide a service for an individual with a disability, whereas ESAs do not require training.
Still, ESAs are just as important to their owners regarding companionship, alleviating distress, and providing relief. So, the next time you see a passenger sitting next to their monkey on a plane, and you think they are being extra for no reason, you should know that animals have long been thought to provide considerable mental health advantages. According to one study, having a pet impacts mental health by helping build emotional connections and assisting people in crisis management.
Emotional support animals may also provide the following benefits:
- Reduced anxiety: Simply touching an animal can induce a state of calm and improve mood.
- Support following a traumatic event: Pets can bring consolation to individuals going through difficult times, such as those who have been through a traumatic event.
- Better physical health: According to studies, emotional support animals may help cope with pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce respiration rates.
- Reduce loneliness: If you suffer from anxiety or sadness, an ESA may provide companionship, making you feel less lonely.
- Mutual affection and care: In turn, for receiving affection and companionship from your ESA, you get a sense of purpose, taking care of him/ her.
Suppose you have an emotional support animal and would like to be able to take him/ her anywhere you travel or live without having to worry about unjustified fees. In that case, you should look into applying for an ESA letter from a trained and certified mental health professional. You will be totally approved to take your furry friend anywhere you go without getting into trouble with the law or additional accommodation or rent fees.
Contact us for hassle-free traveling with your ESA. Click the banner below to get your ESA letter.
What Is the Use of an ESA Letter?
An ESA letter is a document from a certified therapist confirming that you rely on your animal friend for emotional support and irreplaceable affection and that you should be permitted to bring him or her everywhere you go. All airline personnel and landlords need this document confirming that your animal friend is critical to your emotional well-being.
So, if you’re thinking about registering your pet as an ESA, stop; there is no formal registry for ESAs. All you need is a letter from a licensed mental health professional. Nobody needs to keep track of your animal friend’s name in a database and double-check it every single time you wish to take him/ her into a no-pets zone. Simply you should have been with a hard copy or electronic copy of the ESA letter.
A genuine ESA letter contains the following vital information, in addition to being written by a recognized mental health professional:
- Your full name
- An affirmation of your psychological disability as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders
- A statement acknowledging that you are unable to perform at least one essential task of your normal life as a result of the psychological disability
- The federal laws that protect you and your ESA
- An acknowledgment that the ESA has been recommended by a licensed mental health professional
What Does the Fair Housing Act Say about ESAs?
The Fair Housing Act protects ESA owners from discrimination by landlords, real estate companies, homeowner’s insurance companies, etc. The law requires property owners to make reasonable changes so that individuals with disabilities can keep ESAs in their homes. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires housing providers must make exceptions to “no pets” policies. Such an exception is only possible if two conditions are met:
- To live with the animal, the individual must have an impairment that limits at least one major daily activity to a great extent
- The pet must provide a certain form of relief or help concerning the limitations that have been diagnosed.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t identify which disabilities make a person eligible for an exception. Instead, they assert that an ESA’s role is to provide emotional support to individuals with disabilities and that the disability creates the need for that type of support.
A confirmation letter from a certified mental health professional establishing the person’s need for an ESA is normally required for the exception. Property owners may also demand that clients seeking accommodations present verification paperwork signed by a doctor attesting to their condition. Private and personal medical records are not included.
Lastly, it is necessary for the individual seeking housing to demonstrate to the housing provider that the animal helps with his or her disability provides assistance, performs tasks, and/ or renders therapeutic emotional support. A letter from the individual’s medical practitioner or therapist is usually accepted as reliable verification. Under the FHA, housing providers cannot legally:
- Charge additional rent or accommodation fees for ESAs
- Request detailed medical records or private information regarding the individual’s disability
- Deny accommodation because of ESA
- Require specific training for the animal
On the other hand, tenants are financially accountable if their animal friend causes harm to people or property. ESAs are not included under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which permits people to lawfully bring service animals into public places. ESAs do not fit the strict concept of service animals, which require these animals to be professionally trained to assist the disabled with certain tasks. As a result, businesses and public venues may refuse to admit emotional support animals.
A valid ESA letter can bring you comfortable accommodation with your pet. Click the button below to get your ESA letter.
What Does the Air Carrier Access Act Say about ESAs?
In 1986, Congress implemented the Air Carrier Access Act, which prevents air carriers from excluding passengers based on disabilities, particularly mental health disabilities. Until recently, passengers traveling with emotional support animals and psychiatric service dogs were protected under these air travel rules.
As a result of these rules and those issued by the Department of Transportation, airlines could carry passengers requiring psychiatric service animals. They made it possible for disabled travelers to fly without paying extra fees for their animal friends. Airlines were also required to allow ESAs to travel with their owners in the cabin. This allowed disabled people to avoid transporting their animal friends in plane cargo holds, which might be hazardous.
Unfortunately, in early 2021, the Department of Transportation issued new guidelines allowing American airlines to stop giving emotional support animals special treatments. In practice, this means that almost every airline in the United States has stopped participating in the ESA program. All ESA owners were disappointed by this news. Only owners of psychiatric dogs are permitted specific benefits under the new rules. ESAs, on the other hand, are no longer considered service animals and can thus be treated like regular pets.
Can You Bring ESAs on Flights?
Yes, you can fly with your ESA, but under the revised Air Carrier Access Act, it’s up to airlines to set their regulations and policies regarding ESAs. That means that the airline’s pet fees and breed-specific restrictions may apply to your ESA. Always consult with your airline before booking. In case of concerns, a few airlines still maintain ESA-friendly policies as long as you provide proper documentation. Feel free to check them out.
How to Qualify for an ESA Letter?
If you strongly feel that you could benefit from living and traveling with an Emotional Support Animal, you need to apply for an ESA letter from an ESA doctor. Most of the ESA doctors are Licensed Professional Counsellors (LPC), licensed psychologists, or Licensed Family and Marriage Therapists (LFMT).
Choosing an ESA Doctor
Ensure that your emotional support animal doctor is an expert in animal therapy. There are several different types of licensed therapists available. Some people understand that pets are much more than adorable animals that people like to shelter; others vehemently oppose animal therapy; worst of all, they may not have any idea what ESA rights are.
Work with certified therapists who understand everything there is to do about ESA regulations. Do not visit your family physician. Going to your family physician or doctor for aid is not a good idea. As previously stated, you should engage with a qualified therapist to ensure that your ESA letter is legitimate.
Because the law is ambiguous in specifying who can get an ESA, many people are trying to obtain these certificates certifying to live with their dogs in “no pets permitted” zones and travel with them without incurring additional airline expenses. Many psychiatrists and therapists are perplexed by the law’s ambiguity. Do they write an ESA letter for an individual who may or may not have a genuine disability, or do they refuse and risk losing the patient?
If a therapist refuses to write an ESA letter, some individuals may become enraged. Therapists have an ethical dilemma as a result of this. However, should they send a letter to guarantee that a person remains in treatment if they don’t believe a support animal is required? It has also caused the emergence of internet organizations that claim to be able to give a diagnosis and an ESA verification letter. For $100, many of these websites promise to deliver a diagnosis and ESA documentation in less than 24 hours.
Many airlines and landlords have imposed stricter conditions for ESA owners due to such abuses of the provision. Many of them now require an ESA documentation letter and the address and contact information of the issuing mental health practitioner before flying or renting an apartment. Some property owners and airlines want proof that the ESAs have been properly trained.
Additional restrictions include only permitting only one animal per person and only admitting cats, dogs, and miniature horses ESAs. Passengers must also complete an animal behavior form, medical form, and a veterinarian health form, all of which must be signed by their caregiver. Always double-check the legitimacy of the ESA letter provider.
An emotional support animal can help you with mental disorders. Click the banner below to get your ESA letter.
ESA Travel and Housing Letter Consultation
An ESA travel letter will allow you to enjoy favorable treatment while flying with your ESA. The letter may allow you to fly with your animal in the cabin, at a small extra fee. Be aware of any changes made by your airline based on the changes made by the Department of Transportation as of January 2021.
An ESA travel and housing letter combine all the benefits of travel and housing letters into one document as per the Fair Housing Act, which means no pet deposits and extra fees for accommodation. Depending on the airline, you may also be allowed to fly with your ESA in the cabin at a small additional fee. An ESA housing letter allows you to live in no pet-allowed zone without having to pay a pet deposit or monthly fees. It applies to the housing community, rental properties, etc.
What Types of Pets Can Be an ESAs?
Emotional support animals are most commonly dogs, but rabbits, birds, and cats are also popular. Other animals, such as miniature horses, can be used as ESAs as well. ESAs can also be exotic, unusual farm animals such as a duck, a turkey, and a monkey. They may not, however, be privileged to the same compassionate treatment as domestic animals.
In 2018, for example, a customer and his emotional support animal peacock made news after they were denied entry into a United Airlines aircraft, despite the owner’s claims that the animal was an ESA. According to the airline, the peacock did not meet requirements for several reasons, including its weight and size. When getting an emotional support animal, most certified mental health experts recommend going with the domestic ones so you may enjoy favorable policies when it comes to traveling and housing.
Is There an Official Registry Database for ESAs?
There is no database for individuals and their emotional support animals. If you find a website asking you for money to put your details and those of your animal in an “official” database of sorts, that’s a fraud, contact authorities. All you need to enjoy friendly policies when it comes to booking housing and traveling with your ESA after getting an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.
Are ESA Vests Required?
You may also elect to outfit your animal with special vests etc., designating his/ her status as an ESA. You may even carry an ESA ID if you want to make things easier when dealing with landlords and or airline staff.
Lower your stress level with an emotional support animal. Click the button below to get your ESA letter.
Do You Want to Know if You Qualify for ESA?
Take a quick pre-screening test and get instant results to help decide if you wish to proceed with a legitimate emotional support animal letter consultation with one of our certified mental health professionals. Our mental health professional will speak with you about your needs, and if they believe an ESA will benefit your treatment plan, they will issue an emotional support animal ESA letter. Some of the conditions that can qualify you for an ESA letter include anxiety, depression, stress, mood disorders, and PTSD.
Contact us at Mango Clinic for a valid ESA letter or click the banner below to book your appointment.