Emotional support animals, or companion animals, are an essential part of the therapy for various mental maladies. The benefits of ESA have been repeatedly proven by various mental health professionals. And every day more and more people resort to this type of therapy.
For many humans, it is really easier to overcome their frustrations, fears and phobias with the help of four-legged friends. In addition, pets in general significantly change the lives of their owners, reduce stress levels, make people more friendly and teach them to enjoy the little things. In fact, you do not need to register your pet as an emotional support animal in order to receive the backing you need from him.
However, if you do decide to formally register your ESA, it will be helpful for you to know what you need to do, how to get an ESA letter and what benefits it provides.
An emotional support animal is a true friend for those who suffer from various psychological and emotional maladies. They help people with depression, OCD, PTSD, and even aid to alleviate the manifestations of intellectual and learning inabilities.
Emotional support animals are recommended for people of all ages. After all, first of all, they reduce the level of anxiety and stress, help to distract, give a sense of security and safety, make their handlers more confident. For people who feel lonely or abandoned, ESAs become companions who are always there to brighten their lives. Thanks to ESA, people feel important and needed for someone.
Emotional support animals do not have to perform any special tasks other than to be some kind of psychologists. They do not receive special training, unlike service animals. However, ESAs must behave well and be obedient. You can teach your pet the necessary commands yourself. Such training with an animal can also be considered a kind of therapy that allows you to escape from unnecessary thoughts and clear your mind.
Despite many scientifically proven facts of ESA help with men with psychical disturbances, many still do not trust this type of therapy. There is an opinion that ESA is not needed at all and people can cope with their mental problems on their own. However, emotional support animals play an essential role in maintaining a person’s mental and emotional health. Such therapy most often needs to be combined with taking medications and visiting a therapist, however, it is ESAs, due to their constant presence next to the owner, that play a key role in the recovery of its handler.
Also, people often confuse regular pets with emotional support animals. Technically, an animal really does not need any documents to give you its love and care. However, without an ESA letter, you will not legally enjoy the full benefits of an ESA. For example, without such a document, the landlord will not allow you to live with the animal or will require an additional fee for this.
The ESA letter is paperwork issued by your GP. This paper acknowledges that you have any type of frustration for which an emotional support animal is needed. Such a paper can only be extradited by a knowledgeable professional who will determine how the ESA will be useful for treating your condition.
A correct ESA letter is a prerequisite for the landlord to make a reasonable accommodation and authorize you to live with your animal even in no pet buildings. In this case, no additional fee or deposit will be charged from you.
In order to be a rightful document, an ESA letter must meet certain criteria established by federal law. Make sure that your therapist’s license is up to date and that he or she has sufficient competence and expertise in the area of emotional support animals. First of all, the ESA letter must be discharged on the therapist’s official letterhead and contain GP’s contact information. This information should also be up-to-date so that you or your house keeper can get in touch with the person who provide the paper if needed to clarify some details.
The ESA letter must confirm that you have a mental, psychiatric, or emotional disorder that requires the constant presence of an animal companion to treat. No details of your illness, symptoms, or additional treatment information should be included in the ESA letter, except as required by law. You also do not have to give details of your disorder or try to justify having an ESA around you.
The ESA letter is the only document confirming the official status of an emotional support animal. Accordingly, this is the only way to officially “register” your ESA. The existence of this document gives ESAs and their handlers some advantages, in particular in the field of housing. An officially registered emotional support animal can live with its owner in a rented dwelling at no additional cost or pet deposit.
The ESA letter is sufficient reason to request a reasonable accommodation from the manager upon moving in. If you have this document, the decision to place you in a house, even one where pets are prohibited, will be in your favor in 90% of cases. The house provider may not claim emotional support animal registration other than an ESA letter.
In fact, this paper is called for avoiding any kind of intolerance to people with disabilities or mental disorders and their emotional support animals. Usually, people are wary of others suffering from any kind of mental disorder. Landlords are even more wary of animals living in their buildings. Therefore, the ESA letter is a necessary measure to equalize the rights of all people, regardless of their disability-related needs.
An ESA letter can only be obtained from a licensed expert such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, or social worker. If you are already being nursed by a doctor for a mental or emotional disturbance, you can talk to them about the possibility of granting you with an emotional support animal. Only a practitioner in the field will be able to decide if an animal can help you with your well-being. The therapist has the right to refuse to give an ESA letter if he believes that there are insufficient grounds for this or if he thinks that the animal can harm your condition.
However, many people are afraid or embarrassed to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist because they consider mental illness to be something shameful. In fact, mental disorders are no less serious diseases than physical ones, and their treatment should be started as soon as possible. If you don’t want to see a doctor, but still want to know if you qualify for an emotional support animal, or want to officially register your pet in that role, you can use online registration services for ESA. However, you have to be very careful and choose trusted websites to avoid scammers.
Online registration services for emotional support animals are a great solution for many situations. For example, if you do not have your own therapist or your therapist is not qualified enough in the field of ESA. Also, such online services help out in case of a very busy schedule, in which it is impossible to squeeze in a personal meeting with a therapist, or, for example, if a person has problems with mobility.
When you receive an ESA letter online, you don’t even have to discuss your mental illness with anyone. All you need to do is fill out a questionnaire. Your answers will be forwarded to the experts who will make the final decision on whether to provide you with an ESA letter. At the same time, proven online services for ESA registration guarantee absolute confidentiality.
Within 5 working days you will receive a specialist opinion on your diagnosis and a decision to provide an ESA letter. Remember, the more thoroughly you complete the questionnaire and the more information you provide about your disorder and its symptoms, the more likely you are to receive an ESA letter from a doctor.
You can check the Emotional Support Animal ID Card & online registration on our MyServiceAnimal service
It is very important to carefully choose an online service for registering an emotional support animal. There are many websites out there that claim to give you an ESA letter and swindle people out of their money. To avoid such scammers, it is best to ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations and choose only trusted services.
Most often, you can recognize scammers by what they offer. For example, the ESA letter needs to be updated every year, and if you see a proposal for a lifetime document, it is best not to use such a service. The same applies to offers to receive an ESA letter in 10 minutes and suspiciously low prices. The decision to issue an ESA letter is made by a specialist based on your answers in the questionnaire, the analysis of this information takes some time, so the specialist’s response to your request may come within 5 working days, but not 10 minutes.
As for the cost of this document, on most services, its average price is approximately the same. Therefore, if you notice very low prices for an ESA letter, it is most likely a scam.
Also, if you are offered to get an ESA ID card, they are probably trying to deceive you too. For emotional support animals, such documents are not needed and they do not need to be registered separately either.
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