Online ESA vs. Doctor

Lesson 4 Module 1

​I am Joanne Williams, LCSW, again, the manager of Next Generation Psychology, and Today’s video is whether you should get an esa letter from your doctor, or online and the pros and cons of each approach.

As, I did my own research and read and studied the 2 Federal laws that cover having an ESA. 

online vs doctor3

The 2 laws seemed very clear to me on what was needed.

  •  A letter from a Licensed Mental Health Professional
  • And a prescription for needing an animal to help with a mental health disorder, like anxiety or depression.

So you can have your ESA with you can fly on a plane and be in Housing once you have the letter, there can be no pet deposits or pet rents, no weight or breed restrictions.  But there needs to be very specific language or information in the ESA letter to make it legal and accepted by the airlines and housing.

When I asked my local doctor for a letter to take my animal on the plane or my therapist, they had no idea how to write a letter that the airlines would accept.  My doctor scribbled some illegible words on a RX pad.  The airlines wouldn’t accept it. Most doctors are too busy to do the research needed to write an acceptable letter.

Most therapist also, are not specialist in the field to don't know what specific language needs to be in the letter for it to be accepted and used legally.  And would either not be available with questions about the laws and how to use the ESA letter.

online esa vs. doctor

There are 3 things you should look for on the internet when getting an ESA Letter.

​ Is this a Psychological agency with Licensed Mental Health professionals? That will be doing a Psychological evaluation from an assessment form that you completed with your symptoms and specific issues why you need an animal with you? with a session of your situations and that they know what needs to be in the letter?

​ Or an internet business, just selling products and saying that you only need to your animal registered or you only need to get a vest, an ID tag or a wall certification and not doing a psychological evaluation?  Question them further if they can be reached during the year for questions, if your property manager or the Airlines asks you to complete further forms or asks you question that you can’t answer.  Call them back and see if they answer the phone.  If they don’t answer the phone, they won’t be there when you need them.

  • ​Look at the reviews of the person or the agency. Reddit can give real reviews of the process.  
  • Call and see if someone answers or calls you back.
  • Can they answer your questions?  
  • How long have they been doing ESA evaluations?

online esa letter vs. doctor2

Next Generation Psychology at ESA does all of these things and more.  We understand and have used the ESA process for airlines and housing.  Our ESA letters are “bulletproof” and Always include both airlines sand housing in each letter. WE answer the phone or call you back.  You always will speak to a Licensed mental health professional for your evaluation.

To Summarize...

  • Most doctors don't know what to put in an ESA letter for it to be legal.
  • Ditto for most therapists
  • Doctors are busy and don't appreciate the added hassle.
  • Doctors aren't available to answer your concerns if there is ever an issue with your ESA letter

​Now it's your turn.

Tell us what you're looking for in an ESA letter in the comments below or any expereinces you've had with doctors.

​Leave us a testimonial or comment

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