Need an ESA letter now? Not so fast if you’re a California resident.
Those trying to qualify for an emotional support animal in California should be aware of one legal development: Starting Jan. 1, 2022, you may have to wait at least 30 days before getting an ESA letter from your therapist or doctor.
The 30-day wait is mandated by a new law in California. We’ll answer three of the most common questions about this change in this post.
Why must I wait 30 days to get an ESA letter in California?
Only in California can a person qualify as an emotional support animal with a letter from an approved health care professional, and there was no minimum amount of time you had to have known the therapist or doctor before qualifying.
Under the new law, healthcare providers must have established a client-provider relationship for at least 30 days before issuing an ESA letter.
This new law ensures that healthcare professionals have properly completed a mental health assessment before issuing an ESA letter. The 30 day period applies to everyone
What happens when I’ve been seeing my therapist or doctor for more than 30 days?
If you’re in an existing relationship with your therapist, doctor, or social worker that lasts over 30 days, you may be exempt from the new requirement. As long as your current licensed healthcare provider has completed a mental health evaluation, they can write an ESA letter for you.
Those signing your ESA letter must hold a current, valid medical license to practice in California. Your ESA letter should include the effective date, license number, jurisdiction, and type of professional license held by your provider.
What if I get an ESA letter without waiting the 30-day period?
If you are getting your ESA letter from a healthcare professional or online service that does not follow the 30 day rule for post-January 1st, 2022, it should set off an alarm bell. It means your therapist or doctor is either ignorant of the new rules or is flagrantly violating the new ones.
No feeling is worse than knowing that you don’t have a home for your emotional support animal because of inept paperwork. If you have an unapproved ESA letter, your landlord might be able to deny your ESA request.
When you come across a service offering you a fast California ESA letter, you’d be wise to steer clear of it. Instead, trust ESADoggy to get you an official ESA letter from an online health care provider. The licensed professionals working with ESADoggy are aware of the ESA rules and can provide you with ESA letters that actually work.