ESA is an abbreviation for an emotional support animal. People struggling with psychological or physical disabilities can find comfort and help with a specific pet animal. The ESA can be of any type or species it has to offer great companionship, comfort and increase their owner’s confidence. A support animal is not as easy as owning a family pet. To call it an emotional support animal you will need a valid ESA letter.
What’s an ESA letter and how to get it?
It is a prescription letter from your registered therapist or psychologist or psychiatrist declaring that the prescribed animal helps you lead a normal life. Due to some physical or emotional illness, you are not able to conduct major life activities. The ESA letter of prescription has to be written on the health professional’s personal letterhead. It will include your name, issuance date, license number, and location. The ESA letter will be signed but it will be a renewal after every one year.
Who accepts the ESA prescription letter?
The emotional support animal has different rights as it is not recognized as a service animal. Housing with ‘No pet’ policy and airlines will accept your ESA letter.
- While flying make reservations 2 days in advance. Let them know the kind of ESA species you are traveling with. Even carry your ESA prescription for the cat, dog or bird, so that you will be allowed to take it with you into the aircraft without any extra charge.
- Federal housing law for ‘no pet’ policy is exempted for people carrying ESA recommendations. The landlord or manager will offer the same rights as they to other tenants. With an ESA letter, you will not need to pay extra fees to the building manager. If your animal is aggressive or damages the property, then you will be evicted or held liable.
What to do if your ESA prescription is not accepted?
As many people are gaining special privileges for traveling and housing, the suspicion regarding ESA letter is increasing. If you have applied for the ESA letter and got rejected, some actions can be undertaken.
Your first defense line is HUD or Fair Housing Act. It protects people owing to ESAs. Your second defense line is consulting a lawyer, who will show you the right direction. Remember, all the landlords need not accept an ESA letter in a circumstance when the building has not more than four dwellings and one of them is occupied by the landlord.
If the airline rejects your ESA letter you can contact them for assistance. Some airlines have their own application or special wording requests needed to complete. For this reason, it is suggested to notify the carrier in advance. Traveling with the right papers makes you feel extra confident.