Intro: Did you know that people have to register with the ESA or emotional support animals? It’s true! If you have a psychological disorder and are prescribed an emotional support animal by your doctor, it is your responsibility to register with the ESA. In this blog post, we will explore what writing means for those who need it. When your doctor prescribes an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) for mental health reasons, you can register the animal to qualify as an emotional support animal and live with its owner in housing. We will go over what you need to register and how it all works through this blog post!
What is an ESA?
An ESA is a pet or companion animal that provides benefits, such as affection and comfort, to their owners who have disabilities. For your pet to be considered an ESA, it needs to be prescribed by your doctor.
How do you get your ESA?
It’s pretty easy to register emotional support animal, but it does take some time. After you get approval from your doctor, they will recommend a licensed mental health professional who can assist you in getting registered. This process includes a thorough assessment to certify that you have a condition that rises to the level of disability. Once your ESA is written, they will be recognized as emotional support animals and be permitted access to all areas where pets are allowed. Just make sure to carry documentation with you at all times stating your pet is an ESA.
What’s the difference between a psychiatric service animal and an ESA?
- A psychiatric service animal is a dog that has been trained to perform specific tasks to assist people with disabilities. These dogs go through extensive training and have been specifically trained to help their owner overcome barriers associated with living with a disability. Psychiatric service dogs differ from ESAs because they are specifically trained to help people with disabilities, such as mental illness or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and require certification. They do not need any documentation to access all public areas because they have been fully trained and tested. They are allowed in restaurants, hotels, theatres, shops and government buildings.
- Emotional support animals do not require specialized training and are only allowed public access if their owner has mental health professional documentation. These animals provide companionship to their owner and help relieve the symptoms of an emotional or psychological disability. ESAs do not have the legal right to go everywhere that a service dog can, such as in restaurants or other businesses, because owners of emotional support animals do not have full-blown disabilities according to the law.
Are you eligible?
There are several ways to find out if you qualify for an ESA or how to go about getting one. Make sure to consider all options when trying to find an ESA registry because some of these services will also charge extra fees such as certification or tags. Although these services can be helpful, these fees may add up quickly and exceed the costs of doing it yourself. Following are the ways you can get your ESA:
- Visit your local veterinarian or county clerk with all the required documentation and they would most likely register if it’s an official letter from your therapist – most clinics (and even some not) require you to be under their care for at least six months before registration. It’s important to mention the letter must state the mental health diagnosis along with the disability.
- If you’re, for example, on Medicaid and your therapist is comfortable writing an ESA letter for ESA registration purposes – you can go to ESA Doctors that are specifically trained in this practice; they accept different insurance providers and will even give you a prescription if needed. They would more than likely register your animal as an ESA.
- You can try those psychologists that do the ESAScheduleEvaluations for $40;
they need your diagnosis letter and a prescription for Comforts (or any other similar medication). Sometimes you might be asked to bring in your animal or send them pictures; if that’s the case – you find a way to comply!
- One option is to visit the US government website, which lists all of the requirements and conditions that determine whether or not your pet qualifies as an ESA. This page is the only way to get officially recognized as an ESA owner and will be your best option if you want to avoid spending extra money.
- You go through an ESA Registration service that is just a website with forms to fill out, they charge $35-$50 for their services, and you send them everything they need! Usually, they already know your diagnosis if you give them the letter but sometimes they ask for it!
- You try goggling for a “doctor” that will be able to prescribe you Comfort is without asking for anything else! You find one, you appropriately pay him, and you have your prescription if he agrees to give it to you! But beware of scams – there are plenty out there, so do your research, and if you feel uncertain, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Another option that some people take is to see a therapist for an evaluation.
If your therapist rules that you do qualify for an ESA, you will need to go through getting an ESA letter. This option is most similar to the US government website because it will provide you with the required paperwork that your airline needs. You can also get this letter online or through a veterinarian.
- The last option, which is most likely not recommended for those who want to avoid spending additional money, is to use an emotional support animal service letter provider company. These companies will provide you with a letter from their doctors; make sure to do your research and ensure that their letter does not look like the template provided on the US government’s website.
Getting registered for emotional support can be quite the hassle! You need a letter from your doctor; you need to find the right person to write it with. Or you can try seeing a psychiatrist that will prescribe an ESA for you without requiring any additional documentation (it’s implausible).