Millions of people across the world suffer from mental disabilities. There are many disorders like PTSD, anxiety, stress, OCD, phobias that affect people’s life. It can be difficult for a person to deal with these issues themselves. Among the various treatments available for these issues one is getting an Emotional Support Animal. To get an Emotional Support Animal you need to get an ESA letter.
ESA are lovable furry friends that help you reduce your symptoms of mental instability. These animals make people happy and less lonely. They also reduce stress and anxiety. But to keep these furry friends, do you need to get an ESA letter? Getting an ESA letter for housing can be a difficult task because there are many scams out there. So let’s find out how to get an ESA letter for housing?
What Is An ESA Letter for Housing?
An ESA letter for housing tells your landlord that your dog, cat, bird, or other animal is more than just a pet. It certifies that you have a licensed professional-diagnosed mental or emotional disability. It also states that your mental health provider recommends an emotional support animal as part of your condition’s treatment plan.
If you have an ESA Letter for housing then you have the evidence you need to request an accommodation for yourself and your ESA under the Fair Housing Act. A landlord is not required to automatically accept an ESA, they have the right to request proof of your disability as well as your official recommendation for an ESA.
Steps to Get An ESA Letter for Housing
An ESA Letter verifies that your pet is a service animal. This means that you have the legal right to keep them in your home even if your apartment complex prohibits pets. But how can you get an ESA letter for housing? We have discussed the right steps to get an ESA letter.
- Select a Service Provider
You can find a variety of legitimate ESA Letter providers online. Before you choose one, it’s a good idea to compare them to ensure you get the best one for your situation and budget.
You may want to select a provider based on their pricing or services, as well as the advertised time it will take to receive your letter. However, you must choose a company that requires you to attend a telehealth consultation with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), as this is required for your letter to be valid. Avoid companies that promise to send you a letter right away or that diagnose your condition based on the results of an online quiz.
- Proceed With The Pre-Screening Procedure
While you must complete a live evaluation before receiving your letter, most online providers allow you to go through a pre-screening process first to see if you qualify for an ESA. You can take an online quiz that asks questions about your mental health and symptoms.
The pre-evaluation questionnaire may appear to be an extra step, but it can save you from spending money on a letter and then having to request a refund if you don’t qualify. Taking the questionnaire may also help you feel more at ease and prepared for the questions in the live evaluation.
- Carry Out a Live Consultation
If your answers to the pre-screening quiz indicate that you need an emotional support animal, you can proceed with the application process. At this point, you purchase your letter because you are essentially paying for the telehealth consultation.
The provider sends you some official forms to sign once you’ve purchased your letter. You will be able to schedule your telehealth evaluation with a licensed mental health professional once you have returned the paperwork.
- Get Your ESA Letter
If you are eligible for an ESA Letter, the LMHP will write and sign one for you. Check over your letter once you receive it to ensure that all of the details are correct. It should be written on the provider’s letterhead and include the provider’s license number. Once you have it, you are ready to ask your housing provider for accommodations for your ESA.
Who Qualifies for An ESA Letter for Housing?
With an increase in the number of health issues, there has been an increase in people demanding an ESA letter. But some people take advantage of these laws and fake their illnesses. So you must know who qualifies for an ESA letter for housing.
- Persons with diagnosed mental disorders who have sought treatment through medications, therapy, or counseling, and whose particular symptoms are relieved by the existence of an animal may be eligible for an ESA letter if their LMHP professional recommends it.
- These people may exhibit one or more of the symptoms Depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, agoraphobia or other phobias, socially-induced high stress or anxiety (above average), bipolar disorder, grief over a significant loss, and other less common mental and emotional disorders.
- A person is qualified if a licensed mental health professional determines that the patient’s mental health will profit from the companionship of an emotional support animal.