a happy dog

Qualifying for an Emotional Support Animal

These days, people who have health issues that are not readily evident would like to have the alternative of skipping drugs. Medications can treat the condition, but the side effects can sometimes be worse than the problem that it is supposed to address. Researchers have shown that emotional support animals are quite useful in helping such people. The federal government has also passed laws supporting the use of emotional support animals. Getting an emotional support letter from a credible source online can help people access public places where animal entry might be restricted.

  • People can get on a flight with their animal. Thus, check individual airline policies before bringing your animal along.
  • Landlords are also supposed to let people who have registered emotional support animals get access to housing. By law, landlords are supposed to waive pet deposits and not insist on the animal wearing anything that indicates its status as a support animal.
  • With the right documentation, an emotional support animal (ESA) can enter public and office buildings that permit the presence of service animals.

Unlike service animals, emotional support animals are not trained to carry out tasks. Instead, their presence provides a sense of safety and helps their owner function as normally as possible. To be able to take your animal with you, it is essential to have the right documentation in place.

What is an ESA letter and how does it work?

This is a document provided by a therapist or licensed professional in the mental health field stating that a specific animal gives emotional support to their owner. You can see a therapist and get a confirmed diagnosis. Then, get a pet to help you, as well as a letter to facilitate entry into public spaces. What information does such a letter contain?

  • It must be printed on the therapist’s official letterhead
  • It should state that you are a patient undergoing treatment/therapy for a condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • It should state that you have issues that impair your ability to carry on with normal activities
  • It should state that an emotional support animal was prescribed by the therapist to help you cope with the condition
  • The letter must not be dated later than a year before you rent an apartment or bring the animal along

hugging a dog

Conditions that help you qualify for an emotional support letter include:

  • ADD
  • Learning disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Motor skill issues
  • Cognitive disorders
  • PTSD
  • Depression

In the end, you should keep in mind that your general physician cannot issue one of these letters. In other words, only someone who is qualified to deal with mental and psychological problems can, like a therapist, psychiatrist or a psychologist. It is an undeniable fact that service animals such as dogs have played an essential role in helping people feel self-reliant for a long time. Since these animals can be great companions that help people feel secure and happy, getting an emotional support letter is an empowering step in the right direction.