How to Request an ESA Letter in Florida

Emotional Support Animal How to Request an ESA Letter in Florida

How to Request an ESA Letter in Florida

If you have recently moved to Florida or are considering making that move soon, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding your emotional support animal. If you suffer from one of the allowable mental illnesses, you can register your pet as an emotional support animal so that you can take them with you. You may need to provide an ESA letter in Florida to give to your landlord or an airline which can be done with the help of DoNotPay.

What Animal Can Be Considered an Emotional Support Animal?

If you need an emotional support animal, you can choose from the following:

  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Reptile
  • Bird
  • Rabbits or other rodents

Cats and dogs are the most common ESAs. However, some find solace with other types of animals that match their personalities and their disorders. 

What Is an ESA Letter? 

For those who suffer from certain mental illnesses, one of the best ways to treat them is with an emotional support animal. Because landlords can be strict on rules regarding pets, these individuals often seek out an ESA letter that is signed by a licensed medical professional. This letter indicates that the animal in question is essential to the tenant's overall health. You can find an ESA letter template when starting the process.

How Should You Ask For an Emotional Support Animal?

Be upfront with your healthcare provider before you come to the appointment about what you are looking for and attempting to achieve with an ESA letter. If this is the first visit, be upfront with a previous diagnosis and display any medications that you may be taking. When you visit the office of a medical professional seeking an emotional support animal, you should describe to your provider how your moods shift when you are in the presence of the animal in question. If allowed, they may have you bring the animal in to see how you react to its presence.

What Conditions Can I Get an ESA For?

To be given an ESA letter to reside in Florida, you must be diagnosed with one or more of the disorders listed below.  Your letter must be signed by a licensed mental health professional.

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

Get an ESA Letter for Travel

If you are planning to travel by air to Florida with your ESA, you need to be aware of the ESA policies and requirements of airlines, such as:

These airlines have policies in place you need to check before you book your flights so that you are not stuck at the airport when you need to be traveling.

Are Landlords in Florida Obligated to Accept Your ESA?

In the State of Florida, having an ESA letter on file for your rental agreement and also supplying proof that the animal is critical to your mental health means that in most cases, landlords cannot deny you a rental agreement under the Fair Housing Act. However, there are instances where they can deny you, such as:

  1. You do not have all of your documentation and proof to show that this is essential to your overall health. The letter must outline your condition and be in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  1. The ESA letter is not on professional letterhead or does not have the signature of a licensed medical professional.
  1. The pet in question is a breed or type of animal that could be harmful to others.

How to Get Your Own ESA Letter?

If you want to get your own ESA letter and attempt to do this on your own, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. You will need to visit your doctor. Before you can even get the letter, you need to visit a professional who specializes in mental health. Make sure that you are visiting the right professional because sometimes a landlord or other agency that you need a letter for will not accept it from just anyone.
  1. Once at the appointment, you will undergo a series of questions that will determine if and why you need an emotional support animal. This is all based on your current diagnosis or one that is given to you at that time.
  1. Once you have been evaluated and approved, the healthcare professional is responsible for writing the letter for your emotional support animal. This letter will outline the reason why you need the animal.
  1. Once you have the letter, you will need to submit it to your landlord so that you can be approved for your lease. Depending on what the letter says, they may decide to approve or deny your lease.

If you have tried and been unsuccessful with getting an ESA letter or having one written by the right professional, it may be time to try something else.

What Can You Do if You Are Not Successful?

If you have made a request for your emotional support animal, and you have not been successful, do not give up. Instead, take a deep breath, evaluate the first attempt that you made, and then move on to DoNotPay. DoNotPay can navigate different systems and governments, getting your request to the appropriate party in a timely fashion. 

Let DoNotPay Assist With This Request

You do have the option to let DoNotPay help you with drafting the ESA letter you need to travel or move to Florida. Please follow the steps below.

  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.

     

Once you've completed this part, DoNotPay will move your request forward to the appropriate healthcare professional.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?

After DoNotPay has assisted you with your Florida ESA request letter, they can also help you with the following services:

While these seem like tasks you might want to try and tackle, they can be tedious.  DoNotPay does all the heavy lifting so you don't have to!

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