How to Request an Emotional Support Animal Letter from Your Doctor

Emotional Support Animal How to Request an Emotional Support Animal Letter from Your Doctor

How to Request an Emotional Support Animal Letter from Your Doctor

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) can be an important source of comfort for people who are struggling with certain mental health issues. But no matter how crucial your pet is to your mental wellbeing, you can't just call them an ESA. To have them officially recognized, you will have to request an emotional support animal letter from your doctor.

While this process may feel intimidating, we can walk you through the steps to help you get the documentation you deserve. If you need more help, DoNotPay can assist you with this and many other issues you may run into with your ESA.

What Is Considered an Emotional Support Animal?

Unlike service animals, ESAs are not trained to perform a specific task. Instead, they offer comfort and support for people who are suffering from conditions such as PTSD, depression, mood disorders, anxiety, social anxiety disorder, OCD, and more. 

Service animals, such as guide dogs, are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. ESAs, on the other hand, have a more vague job description, and they don't qualify for the same protections. However, people who need an ESA may get some protection under the Fair Housing Act and its expectation of "reasonable accommodation."

What that boils down to is that if you have a disability–even an invisible one, like most mental illnesses–you are entitled to have certain accommodations made for you. If a reasonable adjustment to the rules, like allowing an ESA in an apartment that doesn't permit pets, ensures that you have the same opportunities as others, then you have a legal right to those accommodations.

But before you can ask for these adjustments, you have to be able to prove that your animal is more than just a pet. And for that, you need an ESA letter.

What Is in an ESA Letter?

There is only one way to verify that an animal is an ESA, and that's with an ESA letterThis letter is different from the certification that service animals sometimes have. An ESA letter is required as proof when asking for accommodation for things like housing or airline travel.

Any of the following licensed healthcare specialists can write up an ESA letter:
  • Clinical social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Registered nurse (RN)
  • Certified counselor
  • Doctor's assistant
  • licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Psychiatrist
Some of the common mental conditions that qualify individuals to receive an ESA letter:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic stress
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit disorder

The ESA letter must explain their recommendation for you to have an ESA, and contain the following:

  1. The license number of the doctor or mental health professional
  2. Expiration date of that license
  3. The date the letter was written
  4. The contact information of the medical professional who wrote the letter

How to Ask for an ESA Letter

If you feel that you would benefit from having your pet recognized as an ESA, you'll have to request a letter from your doctor or licensed mental health professional. Although doctors are capable of writing these letters, they may not have enough insight into your mental health to feel comfortable doing so.

If you're currently working with a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or therapist, they would be a natural choice to ask for an ESA letter. Explain your needs, how your pet helps you, and ask them to provide the letter. This can be done during an appointment or by letter.

Need Help? DoNotPay Can Take Care of the Details

If talking to your doctor feels overwhelming, DoNotPay can make the request on your behalf. We cannot write the letter for you; it must come from a medical professional. But we can send a request to your doctor or therapist, asking them for a letter.

If you don't have a medical professional to work with, we can also find one online to assist you. Just let us know why you need the ESA and how they can help, and we'll take care of the rest.

DoNotPay has created a new Service and Support Animals product that can help you with this and many other ESA-related issues. We can contact your landlord to request an accommodation, ask airlines about how they can work with your ESA, and more.

All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.

     

  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.

     

Now you can leave the rest up to us! DoNotPay knows the best way to contact the right people and get the responses you need. We'll do all the footwork and let you know as soon as we have the results.

We can handle all kinds of ESA situations, such as information about an ESA dog, providing an example of an ESA letter, or requesting accommodation from United Airlines, Southwest, American Airlines, and more.

DoNotPay is Here to Help With Pet Problems

ESA concerns are not the only way DoNotPay can help when it comes to the special animals in your life. We specialize in solving problems, so you don't have to, and that includes pet problems. Here are some of the ways we can support pet owners:

Although we appreciate how important pets are, helping you with their needs is only a small portion of what we do.

DoNotPay is Here to Help You Get What You Deserve

DoNotPay is designed to put the power back in your hands when you're dealing with powerful people and corporations. We know how to stand up for your rights, and we can take that burden off of you. Consider this sampling of what we can do on your behalf:

There's much more where that came from. DoNotPay is a clearinghouse of solutions to frustrating problems. Let us fight for you today!

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