How to Write an Emotional Support Animal Letter for New York Housing
For the people who depend on them, emotional support animals are much more than just a beloved pet. Their companionship helps emotionally-distressed individuals deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses.
Emotional support animals are not classified as service animals, so they don't enjoy the same accommodations or legal rights. However, they do have some protections in the state of New York, as long as the owner has a valid ESA letter prepared by a mental health professional.
The requirements for writing an emotional support animal letter in New York can be confusing, but this article goes over everything you need to know, including a sample letter for guidance. You'll also learn how the DoNotPay app can help with all your emotional animal support needs.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
Unlike service animals, like a seeing-eye dog, emotional support animals are not trained to perform a specific task for their owners. Instead, they offer love, emotional support, and companionship, providing their owners with a host of health benefits. Emotional support animals can be cats, dogs, hamsters, and even some non-traditional pets, like pigs.
There's no specific New York state emotional support animal registration process but you do need to take certain steps.
A valid ESA letter is necessary to establish that your pet helps alleviate the symptoms of a mental illness and qualifies for certain privileges. This important document is basically the difference between having a regular pet and having an official emotional support animal.
What Is an ESA Letter?
An ESA letter serves as proof that this animal is helping you manage mental health symptoms that significantly affect your daily life, and therefore, is an important part of your wellbeing. In order to be valid, your ESA Letter has to be signed by a licensed health professional. In any kind of situation where you need special accommodation, such as asking your landlord to waive a no-pets policy, being able to show your ESA letter becomes essential.
Keep in mind that having this document isn't always a slam dunk in terms of getting special consideration for your emotional support animal. For example, ESA letters aren't honored by most major airlines. However, there are situations where having this official proof can help you bring this animal into spaces where they wouldn't normally be allowed.
|Disorders That Qualify For An ESA Letter||
|Mental Health Professionals That Can Provide An ESA Letter||
If you're not currently in the care of a professional, there are also online services that can evaluate your mental health and provide an Emotional Support Animal letter for a fee. You can find an emotional support animal therapist in NYC or other parts of the state using the DoNotPay app.
Sample Emotional Support Animal Letter That Will Be Valid In New York State
There are several elements that make an Emotional Support letter "official" for the purposes of requesting special consideration for your companion pet. These include:
- Date the letter is issued
- Name of the mental health professional
- Their license number and type of license they hold
- Address of their office
- Phone number of the office
- Confirmation from the mental health professional that the patient has a particular emotional disability
- The role of their emotional support animal in
If you're looking for a sample ESA letter you can submit to your mental health professional to give them something to work from, here is a basic framework they can use:
To Whom This May Concern,
Based on my evaluation of [Patient Name], he/she/they suffer serious limitations due to [mental disability]. In order to assist with managing his/her/their symptoms, I am prescribing an emotional support animal that can improve his/her/their quality of life. [Name of pet] is a [type and breed of animal] that provides [Patient Name] with important therapeutic benefits like stress relief and lowering anxiety. Please contact me if you have any questions.
[Name and Signature]
Are Landlords in New York State Required to Accept ESAs?
In most cases, yes, as long as you have a valid ESA letter and accommodating your pet wouldn't cause the landlord "undue hardship". The Fair Housing Act is a federal law that provides some rights for emotional support animals and their owners, allowing them to live in buildings where pets are not otherwise allowed. New York state also passed legislation in August of 2020 that strengthens these provisions, which is excellent news for residents looking to live with an animal companion.
How to Get An Emotional Support Animal Letter By Yourself In New York State
If you suffer from a mental illness and would benefit from having an emotional support animal in your life, you may be a candidate for getting an official ESA letter. Having this document won't allow you to bring your animal absolutely everywhere, but it can definitely smooth things out in certain situations.
Request your emotional support animal letter in New York by following these steps:
- If you're already getting treatment, talk to your regular licensed mental health specialist. Otherwise, you can reach out to someone new or find a reputable service online that specializes in preparing ESA letters.
- Explain why you will benefit from having an emotional support animal, which may have to do with soothing anxiety, coping with stress, or minimizing symptoms of a mood disorder.
- Request an ESA letter on official letterhead and with all the required information to be valid.
How DoNotPay Can Help With All Your Emotional Support Animal Needs
Getting accommodation for your emotional support animal is not always a straightforward process in the state of New York, which can be very discouraging for someone that really needs this type of treatment.
That's why DoNotPay created the Emotional Support Animal tool, which helps you deal with any issues you might deal with on the road to getting an animal companion. Whether you need to find a reliable service to write an ESA letter or contact your landlord about an ESA-related request, DoNotPay can do most of the heavy lifting.
Here's How DoNotPay Can Help With Your Emotional Support Animal
Through our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns, including contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation options, and finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.
- Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.
- 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.
- 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.
And that's it! Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.
Other DoNotPay Products That Make Your Life Easier
There are so many ways that downloading the DoNotPay app can help you save time, money, and hassle. Check out just a few of the useful tools you can enjoy from the comfort of your smartphone or laptop.
- Get resources to help you find a lost pet more quickly
- Learn options for bringing your ESA on a Southwest, American Airlines, or United Airlines flight
- Recover any items you left behind at the airport
- File a Freedom of Information request
- Dispute unfair parking tickets
- Request a refund from Uber Eats
- Process a product return to Best Buy
Discover many more popular ways to use DoNotPay today by signing up!