How to Get an ESA Letter in Arizona: A Complete Guide2022-04-25
An emotional support animal (ESA) facilitates everyday life for individuals who experience intense feelings of worry, stress, depression, and anxiety.
Arizona has passed several laws to stop discrimination against individuals with a disability. Some of these laws also protect ESAs and their owners.
To be protected by these laws, you need to prove your pet is a registered emotional support animal. The best way of doing so is with a legitimate ESA letter.
Keep reading to learn how to get an ESA letter in Arizona. We cover everything you need to know, including whether you qualify for an ESA letter, the benefits of having one, and more.
Do You Qualify for an ESA Letter in Arizona?
To qualify for an emotional support animal, you need to have an emotional or mental health condition. Several health conditions will qualify you for an ESA letter in Arizona. These include, but aren't limited to:
- Bipolar disorder
- Panic disorder
- Phobias and fears
- Learning disorders
If you've noticed your pet helps you work through any condition you have (mental or emotional), you'll benefit from an emotional support animal. A licensed healthcare practitioner will be able to confirm your condition meets the criteria for an ESA.
Who Can Write an ESA Letter in Arizona
Not just anyone can write an emotional support animal letter. Be cautious of scammers claiming to be legitimate providers. How? Well, there are some red flags you need to consider.
Avoid being taken advantage of by online scammers by considering the following:
- Instant turnaround times. The issuance of an ESA letter will never be instant. You have to meet with a healthcare professional licensed in Arizona before receiving a letter. Any service that promises You should not trust an instant turnaround time.
- Extremely low prices. Low, discounted pricing can be enticing. But if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Obtaining a letter from a licensed mental health expert should never be dirt cheap, so beware of unusually cheap rates.
- No customer support. If something goes wrong with your purchase, you need someone to turn to for assistance. However, it will be very difficult if the ESA site doesn't have or offer client support. When they offer no way to contact them, it's a sign they're not a legitimate company.
Who can you trust to write an ESA letter?
An Arizona licensed mental health professional (LMHP) is the only person legally allowed to issue an ESA letter. This LMHP can include your primary physician, a licensed therapist, or a licensed psychologist.
What's Inside an Arizona ESA Letter?
Along with the red flags listed above, specific information must be in a legitimate emotional support animal letter. Here's what you need to be looking for:
- The date of issuance; must be written within one year
- Must come from a licensed healthcare professional
- Must include the name, signature, and license number of the healthcare practitioner
- The letter includes the letterhead of the LMHP
- Details of the person's condition and how an ESA will help with at least one significant life activity
- Details of the pet like size, breed, and weight
Benefits of Getting an ESA Letter in Arizona
There are so many benefits of an emotional support animal, and having a letter reinforces these benefits. Here are some of the main reasons you need an ESA letter in Arizona.
ESAs Offer Emotional Support
If you struggle with severe anxiety, depression, or any mental illness, an ESA letter makes it easier to take your pet with you everywhere you go. Your ESA is a reliable friend you can depend on during these difficult times. They help you get through feelings of stress, worry, or sadness.
Studies have shown that pets help improve physical and mental well-being. Getting an emotional support animal will not only offer the emotional support you need, but it'll also keep you active. Physical activity also has benefits for mental and emotional health.
A legitimate ESA letter helps you keep your playmate next to you whenever you need support, whether during a panic attack or a bout of depression.
Gives Access to Restricted Places
Landlords cannot charge pet fees or refuse to lease the property because of an emotional support animal. Arizona protects ESA owners under the Fair Housing Act.
This legislation means property owners cannot deny housing even if they have a strict no-pet policy. They also cannot judge a pet based on breed, size, or weight.
Along with housing, an ESA letter facilitates you taking your pet into places where you usually wouldn't, like your workplace. Imagine it being “Bring Your Pet to Work Day” every day. Your animal companion will surely make getting through your days easier.
While an ESA letter alone won't guarantee you'll be able to take your pet to work, it does increase the chances. Your employer will need to make the call at the end of the day, but a legitimate letter will help.
Whether for housing or work purposes, be sure you have your ESA letter handy. Nine times out of ten, they will ask to see it.
Offers a Reliable Travel Buddy
The Department of Transportation has issued several changes regarding emotional support animals. While airlines initially were required to let ESAs fly with their owners free of charge, this is now optional. Airlines can decide whether or not to allow ESAs on their flights.
Most domestic airlines have chosen to stop accepting ESAs; however, some airlines still allow it. Check with your airline to determine if they allow emotional support animals to travel with you for free. If they do, you'll be able to go on vacation with your pet.
Just remember that the airline will ask to see your ESA letter, so have it ready to go.
No More Breed Restrictions
Unfortunately, there continues to be prejudice against certain dog breeds. For instance, pitbulls, huskies, and rottweilers have a reputation for being destructive or very aggressive. Many landlords and property owners restrict them from living in their buildings.
An ESA letter means the landlord can't refuse to let your pet live with you. However, if your pet exhibits aggression towards others, the property owner can refuse housing accommodations.
Emotional Support Animals Laws in Arizona
Arizona doesn't provide any legal protection for emotional support animals. They're only legally protected when it comes to housing.
Let's take a look at what you can expect.
The American Disabilities Act states that employers cannot discriminate against anyone with a disability. However, emotional support animals do not qualify for protection under this law, which only applies to service animals.
It's always worth asking your employer if you're allowed to bring them into the workplace. Explain how they help you and how they will benefit your productivity. If your employer denies your request, you must abide by this decision.
Under the Fair Housing Act, the state of Arizona protects the housing rights of those with an ESA. Handlers have equal rights to accommodation.
For instance, a landlord cannot charge an extra fee or refuse to lease the property because of your pet. They will most likely always ask to see an ESA letter, which is why you need to have one at your disposal.
They CANNOT do any of the following:
- Judge the ESA based on breed, size, or weight;
- Demand the ESA to undergo specific training;
- Require the animal to wear a specific collar or harness;
- Require pet fees.
A landlord can refuse an ESA and its owner if the animal poses a threat. Also, if the animal destroys the property, a landlord has the right to ask the tenant to pay for the damages.
ESAs used to be protected by the Air Carrier Access Act, but there have been changes ever since people started taking advantage of this privilege. Now, only service dogs can ride in the cabin with their owners free of charge.
If you'd like your emotional support animal to travel in the cabin with you, you could bring the ESA as a carry-on. This only works if you have a small pet who can fit in a carrier under the seat. Though you won't be able to hold them, this is a great way to provide some sense of calm.
How to Get an ESA Letter in Arizona: A Step-by-Step Guide
Receiving a legitimate ESA letter in Arizona is pretty simple, and you can do it 100% online. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get one online.
1. Purchase an ESA Letter Product
Start by purchasing an ESA letter product. It won't automatically guarantee that you'll qualify for an ESA letter, but it does mean the provider will match you with a healthcare professional like a therapist who can help. They'll make the final decision regarding your qualification for an emotional support animal.
2. Fill Out a Mental Health Questionnaire
The next step in this process is to fill out an in-depth mental health questionnaire. This assessment will cover details about your mental health history and any other relevant personal details.
3. Meet With a Mental Health Provider
Once the healthcare practitioner reviews your mental health questionnaire, they will schedule a meeting for the two of you. After your session(s), they'll determine if you're qualified to have an emotional support animal.
4. Receive the ESA Letter
You'll receive a downloadable ESA letter if you qualify to have an ESA animal. This document will be from your therapist with their signature and official letterhead. It will include all the information outlined above, including details of your condition and how an ESA will help. It will also include details about your pet's weight, size, and breed.
Get Your ESA Letter Today
Getting an ESA letter in Arizona is simple when you go through the ESA Registration of America. We have a network of certified and licensed mental health professionals who will help you start the process of qualifying for an ESA letter in Arizona.
With an ESA letter, you'll experience improved feelings of well-being, access to restricted places, and several other benefits.
What are you waiting for? Get your ESA letter today!
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