ESA stands for emotional support animal, meaning that these are animals aimed at providing emotional support to people suffering from mental disabilities.
Wondering if you would qualify for an ESA?
Here’s everything you need to know…
Defining Your Mental Disability
A mental disability is an illness that affects the way that you think, feel or act.
In order for your mental disability to qualify you for an ESA, it must be a condition that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
A few examples of common mental disabilities include:
- Learning disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit disorder
Think that you may be suffering from a recognized mental disability?
If so, the next step would be getting this officially diagnosed…
Certification from a Licensed Mental Health Professional
In order to get yourself an ESA, you need an ESA letter that officially certifies you as suffering from a mental disability.
However, not any doctor can write this letter…
It needs to come from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), such as a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist. The letter will state that you are dealing with an emotional disability, although it does not need to disclose any more details of this disability. It will also explain that your disability is interfering with your daily life, and that this is something an ESA could help you with.
In the past, the only way to acquire an ESA letter would be to meet with a LMHP face-to-face. This is the best way to be properly diagnosed, but the process was known for taking quite a bit of time.
Now, there are numerous ESA websites out there that you can turn to instead.
Of course, there are also plenty of scam ESA websites too, so you need to be careful about which one you go for. Any website that offers you an instant ESA letter, or promises to put you on an ESA database, is one that you shouldn’t trust.
An example of a reliable ESA website would be Certapet. They basically act like the middle man when it comes to you and a LMHP. All you need to do is fill out the pre-screening form on their website. Certapet will then send your information to a LMHP local to you. They will review your details and then phone you to confirm everything that you have told them. After this, if they believe that you qualify for an ESA, they will write you a letter and send this over.
How long does this take?
Unlike the weeks, or even months, that it sometimes takes to acquire an ESA letter after a face-to-face meeting with a LMHP, going down the online route is much quicker. With Certapet, you could have your ESA letter in just 48 hours after filling out the form.
The best way to find out whether or not you qualify for an ESA is by filling out a pre-screening form, such as the one provided by Certapet. If you do qualify, it won’t be long before you have an ESA of your own, and, if you don’t qualify, the LMHP that Certapet connects you to will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to other forms of treatment.