How to Get an Emotional Support Animal
Getting an emotional support animal or registering your pet as an emotional support animal is easier than many people think, provided you have the right documents. These animals provide support and comfort in the form of companionship and affection for a person experiencing from various emotional and mental conditions. It should be noted that an ESA is not required to carry out any particular tasks for a disability, unlike service dogs.
They are meant solely for the purpose of unwavering love and emotional stability. They can assist with conditions like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, mood disorder/bipolar disorder, phobias/fears, and other various emotional and psychological conditions. If you also happen to be one of the 61.5 million Americans who suffer from one or another kind of emotional disability, you are in a position to qualify for an Emotional Support Animal.
How Can You Qualify For an ESA?
Qualifying for an ESA is simple. All you need is a proof of your mental condition that is verified by a mental health expert, like a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or any other mental health experts. Some property owners and managers also will allow verification completed by a family doctor, but most don’t.
What Areas Should Your ESA Letter Cover?
An ESA letter should contain a few crucial details that will let the recipient know that you are:
- A current patient of the mental health expert who verified your emotional disability
- You are under the same mental health expert’s care for your disorder, which is explained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version IV or V
- Relatively limited in participating or performing in at least one of the day-to-day activities due to your disability
- Being recommended an Emotional Support Animal as an important part of your present disability’s treatment.
How To Know If Your Mental Disability Qualifies You For An Emotional Support Animal
If you have any of the following emotional disorders, you can qualify for an ESA pet:
- Mental retardation
- Learning disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Sexual disorder
- Gender identity crisis
- Tic disorders
- Cognitive disorders
- Bipolar/mood disorder
- Motor skills disorder
- Substance abuse disorder (this includes overuse of drugs and/or alcohol, among a number of other things)
How to Get Your ESA Letter
You can obtain your ESA letter via one of two sources: by a doctor or online. If you go with the first approach, make sure you communicate with your doctor and be completely transparent in order for him to understand your needs. If approved by your doctor or therapist, they will provide you with an ESA.
The other option is to get your letter online, through a reliable company. It is important to keep in mind that this option is probably inferior to the other option, and you might come across some parties that are only willing to accept verification from your doctor.
An ESA letter:
- Confirms that you are indeed a patient, and in care of a certified mental health professional
- Recognizes that your disability limits you from performing certain daily life tasks
- Makes it clear that prescription for an ESA is a mandatory reinforcement for your emotional disability