In recent years, there has been an increasing number of individuals that are looking to attain an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter for their pets, given the array of benefits and advantages the certification provides. Whether they truly have a legitimate emotional disability, or they are simply looking for the benefits that come with the certification, the one thing that remains clear is the fact that the demand has increased significantly.
With this demand becoming overwhelming in recent years, one thing that has increased with it is the extent to which people are trying to turn a profit on it. Many online services have sprung up, essentially, out of nowhere as a means of persuading people that their letters are not only legitimate, but that they are certifiable under the law as well. However, there are many reasons in which these online services are not only scams, but that they provide pet owners with the belief that they received a legitimate letter, despite the fact that most public places and institutions where the letter would be provided, is not actually accepted. In order to qualify for one of these letters, it is crucial to meet with a mental health professional that will provide you with a diagnosis of whether or not you have a mental or emotional disability, and give you a truly legal and justified certification for an ESA letter. Here are a few reasons why it is necessary to meet with a mental health professional to attain the documentation you desire:
Online ESA Services Scam You
How scam ESA letters cause problems
The fact of the matter, is that most people who set up these online services do so for the sole interest of getting money out of you. The profits that come with providing fake documentation are plenty, and can setup websites that seem like they are legitimate and credible, when in reality they actually are not. There are certain things that institutions such as airline companies or housing authorities use to double check your certification to see whether or not it is real. For the most part, these indications tend to be absent or invalid on a letter that is received online, thus deeming your emotional support animal as not for the purposes that you are claiming it is for. One example is that many of these letters fail to provide the specific diagnosis of mental or emotional disability that you may have, and is one of the determinants that people use to certify the legitimacy of your document. If the letter does not overtly state the medical condition, it is a red flag for many that it was acquired online and, in reality, is not real.
The last thing you want as a pet owner is to bring your animal with you to the airport, only to be turned away by the airline for not having a legitimate letter. This is one of the reasons that meeting with a mental health professional is crucial in ensuring everything goes smoothly and safely along the way.
Legitimate ESA Documentation Can’t be Turned Away
Perhaps the primary reason an individual may try to attain an Emotional Support letter is due to the benefits and advantages that it provides to them and their animal. However, the fact is that many institutions are becoming smart to the tricks that occur online, and can spot a fake letter almost immediately. Meeting with an actual mental health professional protects you against the fabricated certifications, and makes sure that you cannot be turned away by places such as airlines or landlords. These documents provided by doctors or therapists have an array of components that indicate a real letter, which have almost become required in order to gain the advantages.
The Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP) that provides you documentation must be practicing or have a practice, and be licensed to do so, in the state in which you live. The letter will overtly outline the professional’s license number, the date their license was issued along with the expiration, as well as the issue and expiration date of the ESA certification that they provide you. Furthermore, many online services may not provide legitimate documentation in the form of a professional letterhead from the LMHPs offices, which is another red flag. If you go in-person to be diagnosed for the mental or emotional disability, the doctor in question is required to provide you the ESA letter on a formal letterhead from their office, stating the specifics of your disability, the breed and type of animal that is required for emotional support, and other similar components.
People are becoming smart to ESA scams
With the popularity of ESAs growing, many institutions have trained their employees to keep an eye out for illegitimate ESA documentation that they may come across. If you decide to get your letter online, it is almost certain that the person who you present it to will be able to determine whether it is real or fake, primarily through the aspects outlined above. However, for those who seek assistance from an actual mental health professional, these problems can be forgone, as all of the requirements will be shown. Given the extent to which the demand has grown, as well as the training and warnings that have been given to those who need to certify them, the convenience of getting it online can turn into a real headache when presenting it to landlords or airlines in person.
Overall, it is clear that the advantages of getting an Emotional Support Animal letter are quite helpful to pet owners, but also that there are very clear and apparent steps that must be taken in order to be provided with a legitimate document. Opting out to purchase an ESA letter online can create challenges and roadblocks along the way, and can lead to more stress than had you simply gone to see a mental health professional. The reality is that many are trying to dupe pet owners with fabricated letters, which are not justified under the eyes of the law. In order to ensure that your letter is both legitimate and valid, granting you the protections you need, it is highly, highly suggested to seek the guidance of a licensed mental health professional to get the documentation you may need.