Veterans Affairs on Emotional Support Animals

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Veterans Affairs on Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals provide companionship, unconditional love, and support to those who need it most. For many veterans, emotional support animals are an important part of their lives. When it comes to traveling with an emotional support animal, however, things can get complicated. Many businesses require specialized letters that grant access to emotional support animals.

If you are wondering about letters, this guide can help. You will learn how to draft an ESA letter on your own, as well as how to use DoNotPay to connect you with licensed specialists who can provide you with an official ESA letter.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional support animals are animal companions prescribed by mental health professionals that can assist their owners with conditions like anxiety, depression, and various chronic illnesses. Emotional support animals, often called ESAs, are not service animals and are not protected under the same laws and regulations that govern service animals.

How Emotional Support Animals Help People:

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
  • walk them
  • bathe the
  • play with them
  • And more

Setting your schedule to be based on their needs can also impact your other day-to-day tasks.

Improve Memory and FocusPets are very good at keeping 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.
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.
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.

How Can Veterans Benefit From Emotional Support Animals?

While many thousands of people enjoy the benefits of ESAs, . Many veterans suffer from conditions like PTSD or chronic stress and have few outlets to relieve these issues. ESAs can help veterans adapt to civilian life after the stresses of combat, providing those veterans with emotional healing and companionship. According to the Veterans Affairs website, while ESAs are not provided the same access as service dogs, ESAs are sometimes allowed special considerations if the veteran has an ESA letter.

What Is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is a certified document that is signed off by a mental health services professional. An ESA letter is the only way to prove that your animal is an emotional support animal. ESA letters must contain the following:

  • Physician/Licensed Mental Health Professional license number.
  • The License expiration date.
  • The letter issue date.
  • Your physician's contact information.

If you are seeing a mental health service professional through Veterans Affairs, it might be possible to get a . You will just need to get your therapist or another qualified expert such as a psychiatrist or registered nurse to create and sign off on the letter.

Example ESA Letter

If you want to draft your own ESA letter to bring to your therapist or psychiatrist, here is an ESA letter example:

(Mental Health Professional and Practice name)

(Physical address)

ESA Letter Requester:

Name: _________

Phone number: __________

Email: __________

Address: _____________


Dear (Mental health professional's name)

I am hereby requesting an ESA recommendation letter to provide to businesses explaining that I need my therapy animal as part of my treatment.

The following is the contact information of the business in question:

(Airline name): _______________

(Contact address):_______________

I would appreciate it if you acknowledged in the letter that you are my doctor and that you recommend that I travel with my emotional support animal

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

(Image of eSignature)

How to Request an ESA Letter on Your Own

If you want to request a animal letter on your own, here's how to do so.

1. Book an Appointment With Your Therapist

The easiest way to get an ESA letter is if you have an existing therapist or psychiatrist that you can visit with. At your next appointment, mention to your therapist that you need an ESA, and if you have one, provide them with the sample letter that you have written. They can then work with you to create an ESA letter that works for your needs.

2. Find a Service Online That Offers ESA Letters

If you don't already see a therapist or psychiatrist, you can find an online service that offers ESA letters by typing "Veterans Affairs emotional support animal letter" in your favorite search engine. Be careful about which service you contact since there are some scammy websites that prey on vulnerable veterans. Alternatively, you could find and book an appointment with a therapist near you and explain to them your need for an ESA letter.

3. Wait for Your Official Letter

Once you have asked a mental health professional for your ESA letter, all you have to do is wait for the letter. Once your letter arrives, you should be able to bring it with you on your travels, in hopes that your emotional support animal will be granted access to airlines and other businesses.

While you can certainly get an ESA letter through the above method, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to try to get that letter on your own. It could take hours to screen new therapists, and if you don't already have a psychiatrist, explaining to them why you need an ESA letter can be stressful and demoralizing. The best solution is to use DoNotPay's Emotional Support Animal product service to help you request your letter and get it quickly.

Use DoNotPay for Your ESA-Related Concerns

Here's how DoNotPay can help:

DoNotPay can assist with all of your ESA-related concerns, including reaching out to qualified mental health professionals in order to get a Veterans Affairs emotional support animal letter.

  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.

And that's it. DoNotPay will send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter on your behalf, saving you time and stress.

DoNotPay Is Your One-Stop ESA Solution

DoNotPay can help you with all your ESA-related concerns. DoNotPay is

  • Fast. Save time searching for mental health professionals by using DoNotPay.
  • Easy. With just a few clicks of a button, DoNotPay can help you get connected to the right people who can generate an ESA letter for you.
  • Successful. Best of all, DoNotPay is successful, helping you with any emotional support animal needs.

Here are some of the ESA-related concerns that DoNotPay can help with:

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