How to Get an ESA Letter In California

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How to Get an ESA Letter in California Without Hassle

California boasts of its progressiveness in different areas of daily living, including housing, job market, and even regulations regarding living with emotional support animals (ESAs). The state's residents can enjoy the rights of owning ESAs provided they have an official ESA letter. If you're wondering , this post is for you.

In California, you can get your ESA letter from a state-licensed health care professional. When you have the official letter, you can move on to request ESA accommodation in an aircraft cabin without incurring extra expenses (for airlines that accept ESAs) or get housing in residences with a 'no pets' policy.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

An emotional support animal is an animal that offers emotional support, companionship, and a sense of safety and wellbeing to the owner, thus helping in treating at least one aspect of their mental or emotional condition. ESAs do not receive training to perform certain tasks relating to a person's disability–the companionship they bring for being near an individual is all that is necessary from them.

Here are the benefits of having an emotional support animal:

Relieves StressPets provide unconditional love to their owners. They are unable to yell or do things that may stress you. This can give you a sense of confidence and reduce your risk of depression or anxiety.
Improves Your ScheduleSchedules and routines may be very important, yet, schedules may seem tedious. A pet requires care and a certain routine. You must feed them, you have to walk them, bathe them, play with them, etc. Setting your schedule to be based on their needs, can also impact your other day-to-day tasks.
Improve SleepIf you are someone who suffers from hyperactivity, you may feel unable to rest well at night. After running, walking, playing, and focusing on your pet throughout the day, you may be able to rest more at night.
Improve Memory and FocusPets are very good at keeping a person centered. If you forget to feed them, they will remind you. If you feel lost in thought, they can give you a nudge to remind you that they are there.

Which Animals Can Be ESAs in California?

ESAs do not need to undergo any special training and do not have to do anything to an individual with mental health needs. Therefore, no restrictions exist as to which species or breed of an animal can be an ESA. However, dogs and cats are California's most common emotional support animals.

You can also find animals like pigs, ferrets, miniature horses, and ducks being used for emotional support.

What Is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is a formal or official document that a licensed medical/mental health professional (LMHP) writes and approves, allowing you to live and travel independently with your emotional support animal. You must obtain the ESA letter from an LMHP if you want your pet to be recognized as an emotional support animal; otherwise, without the letter, you won't enjoy the rights enshrined under California ESA laws.

An ESA letter must contain the following:

  1. Letter issued date
  2. LMHP contact details
  3. The license number of the Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP)
  4. License expiration date

As long as you have an ESA letter, you can enjoy the rights stipulated under the Fair Housing Act. The act protects people with ESAs from unreasonable discrimination by the landlord and requires them to allow accommodation for ESAs. You can also fly with your ESA on airlines such as WestJet and Volaris that allow them. However, other airlines such as the American, Southwest, and United that used to allow ESAs no longer allow them.

How to Get an ESA Letter in California and Request ESA Accommodation on Your Own

Below are the steps to obtaining an :

  1. Reach out to a California's licensed mental health professional
  2. Inform them that you wish to get an ESA letter and submit details regarding your interest to qualify
  3. The LMHP will then review your submission to establish your eligibility for an ESA letter
  4. The LMHP may or may not send an onboarding form to supplement the evaluation
  5. If the licensed medical/mental health professional approves your submission, you can get your signed ESA letter via email or mail within a few days.

You must obtain the ESA letter from a licensed healthcare professional in California for it to be valid.

How to Request Accommodation for Your California Emotional Support Animal With DoNotPay

When you get your ESA letter, your troubles may not end there. You may get a delayed response or no response at all when you write to your landlord requesting information on ESAs services. You may also need to write to your airline requesting accommodation for your emotional support animal if you intend to fly together.

Making these formal communications can be overwhelming and time-consuming. You need to get the addresses right, write a formal letter, and avail all the information required for the ESA accommodation approval. Luckily, DoNotPay is here to lend a helping hand and make these processes easier for you. If your ESA letter is taking longer than you expected, DoNotPay can help you contact the licensed medical/mental health professional to send you the letter.

Here’s how DoNotPay can help:

Through DoNotPay's product, you can get help with all your ESA-related concerns, from requesting ESA accommodation information from your landlord or airline agency to finding the most affordable online ESA letter service.

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

You are through! DoNotPay generates a formal letter depending on your concern and sends it on your behalf to the concerned party.

More DoNotPay Products for Your Pets

DoNotPay has multiple other pet-related products. In addition to solving all your ESA-related needs, we can also help you:

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

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