In order to reap the complete benefits of emotional support animals, you must first register your ESA with the right authorities. Once you have been registered, your pet will gain the status of an emotional support animal and be provided entry into places where they were previously unable to go.
But what is the exact procedure for registering an animal as an ESA? What paperwork would you need? Such questions are expected to occur if you are new to the process yourself, so if you want to get through it flawlessly make sure to follow all the steps mentioned in this article.
What Are the Requirements for Registering for an ESA?
In terms of documentation, you do not need to submit anything other than an application containing your request for an emotional support animal to your mental healthcare professional. This goes without saying, but you must also have an active mental condition. If the doctor deems it necessary, then he will provide you with a letter confirming the status of an animal as your emotional support.
What Should You Write in an ESA Letter?
Of course, you must also know what is to be written in an ESA letter. If the contents of your letter do not match the standards, then it is likely to get rejected due to regulation. So, what should you write?
Any application regarding permission of keeping an animal as an emotional support animal must include the following things:
· The name of the sender, i.e. You.
· A clause containing information about your mental condition and how it interferes with your daily activities.
· A separate clause containing information about how an ESA is likely to help improve your condition or at least help cope with it.
· Finally, it must contain the mental healthcare professional’s license number and signature approving the letter.
How To Register an ESA Online?
If for some reason, you are unable to get a physical session with your therapist, but still feel your condition deteriorating, then you can contact an online therapist. Several mental health professionals offer their services online through websites on the internet. Once you get into contact with them, you can follow the same process to get the ESA prescription online, but it can be a bit difficult to find the right website for this process.
Steps To Find the Right Website for ESA Registration
If the only thing stopping you from getting help is the imminent fear of getting scammed, then do not worry. You can simply follow the following steps to find a legitimate website to get your ESA registration without any hassle:
1. Certified Healthcare Professionals
The most important aspect to check before even continuing to get therapy online is whether the healthcare professionals on that site are authorized and licensed to work in your state or not. If you feel that your therapist is not licensed by the board, then you can ask them to prove it to you.
Scam websites, if they are offering sub-par services, tend to hire professionals from states where they have to pay less for their services. These professionals are often not even aware of the medical laws and regulations outside of their state and far from being licensed to work anywhere else.
2. Absurdly Fast Services
Another red flag to watch out for is if your application gets accepted too quickly and you are promptly provided with a signed ESA letter. It takes time for therapists or psychiatrists to understand the condition of their patients and even more so when deciding on treatment for them.
Usually, an ESA letter approval can take quite some time, but if you get it too fast, then there is something fishy going on in the background. It is highly likely that such a company has prepared several signatures beforehand and is working on getting out as many letters as it can. Often, these signatures are completely forged and do not even belong to any mental health professionals.
3. Illegitimate Claims
If you go online to get an ESA letter, then you will see a multitude of websites with captions like lifetime ESA letters, ESA database registration, Take-your-pet-anywhere, etc. Any websites that make such claims are complete scams.
There are several rules concerning emotional support animals like ESA letters must be renewed every year. Additionally, you do not need to actually “register” your ESA anywhere and only need a letter. ESAs do not come under the ADA meaning you cannot take them everywhere and so on and so forth. The idea is that you should first verify the claims being made by the website and then proceed.
4. Standard Market Prices
It is common knowledge that therapists and psychiatrists charge a significant amount of money in exchange for their services, so does it make sense that any good and licensed professional would be willing to offer the same services for a notably lower cost for no apparent reason?
Always opt for websites that are offering standard market prices. Even though it will be costlier, the ESA letter you receive will actually be valid, and your mental health may improve as well. Consequently, if you opt for a cheap website, then you will get your letter, but it will not be valid anywhere thereby wasting the fruits of your labor.
5. ESA Certification
Another common scam that often takes place is the delivery of ESA certification. Legally, no individual is required to possess any certificate that verifies the identity of their ESA. This rule remains the same throughout the US, and anyone claiming otherwise is looking to deceive you. The only documentation that you must have in order to prove your animal as an ESA is an ESA prescription letter and that is it.
6. Client Support
There are times when you may face difficulty in proving your ESA with just a letter. Uncooperative individuals may ask for additional information and documentation which is where your therapist comes in. If your doctor is legit, they will provide any additional help required to convince anyone of the legitimacy of your condition and ESA.
This, unfortunately, is not the same if a website is running a scam. These imposters often cut communication after getting paid for their fake services. Since their true identity remains anonymous, they remain at large as they scam thousands more every day.
Are Online ESA Letters Even Valid?
Online documents are often the target of skepticism since there are a plethora of websites that run scams in order to exploit people while providing substandard and even fake services. Therefore, the documents obtained from such websites are obviously going to be considered illegitimate.
However, if you made sure to go through the proper steps to find a suitable site based on your needs, and were also able to obtain an ESA letter, then that letter is most likely legitimate and will be considered valid by authorities. You can use it as a substitute for a physical letter, and your ESA is guaranteed to enjoy the same benefits as any other ESA.
It may seem as if getting an emotional support animal is too much of a hassle, but that is not entirely true. After you are done with the initial steps, you can peacefully enjoy the comfort and presence of your companion in several places. Even if it feels selfish, your mental health should be your utmost priority because you matter. We hope that you will be able to make informed decisions if you plan on getting an ESA.