When it comes to getting an ESA letter, you need to know the difference between an emotional support animal letter and a service dog letter.
Service dogs are legally protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have specific training and certification. Emotional support animals do not have these requirements. This can be confusing for many people who are just looking for an ESA letter, but there is a simple answer to this question:
ESAs are dogs that provide emotional support. They do not require special training or certification. Emotional support animals help people with a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Emotional support animals are treated as pets under the law and therefore have no special privileges in public places like restaurants or shopping malls. Service dogs, on the other hand, must be trained for certain tasks that help their owner with disabilities like vision loss or mobility impairments.
Under federal law, you may request an emotional support animal letter from any mental health professional that has evaluated your mental health needs in the past 18 months. A note from your physician is also required if you have been diagnosed with a physical disability by a licensed medical professional.
If you do not have mental health or physical disability, then you cannot legally use an ESA letter to claim that your dog is a service animal.
However, you can use an ESA letter to help establish the fact that your dog is a trained emotional support animal.
What Does an Emotional Support Animal Letter Look Like?
If you have an emotional support animal letter from your doctor it must include certain information about your animal:
- The name of your mental health professional who diagnosed you with your condition.
- The name of your physician’s treating psychiatrist if he/she has been treating you for more than 90 days.
- A description of how your disability is being treated or ameliorated by the presence of your emotional support animal.
- A statement that you have the right to have your emotional support animal with you at all times.
A doctor may issue an emotional support animal letter after an evaluation or consultation. However, in order for this letter to be valid it must be issued by a psychiatrist or a licensed clinical psychologist.
The person who issues the letter must also be a licensed physician and must also follow certain guidelines for issuing the letter, including having completed at least six hours of continuing education on mental health issues.
In conclusion, emotional support animals are used by people with various conditions including anxiety, depression, PTSD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These are serious mental health conditions that require the assistance of an animal in order for their owner to function properly.
Therefore, if you have one of these conditions and would like legal protection under the ADA for your service dog or emotional support animal, then you should seek out legal advice on how to obtain an ESA letter from your doctor.
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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