What To Say To Register For An Emotional Support Animal

Emotional Support Animal What To Say To Register For An Emotional Support Animal

What Needs To Be In An Emotional Support Animal Letter

For many individuals dealing with mental health challenges, having the company of an emotional support animal (ESA) can make a huge difference in their quality of life.

While emotional support animals don't have the same legal rights as service animals, they do qualify for some accommodations, especially when it comes to housing. However, these privileges will depend on having a valid ESA letter from a mental health professional that confirms the importance of this pet for your wellbeing.

If you're wondering what needs to be in an emotional support animal letter, this article has a detailed template that can be used for guidance. You'll also learn about the many ways DoNotPay can help you navigate the ESA letter process.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

Emotional support animals aren't trained to perform a service but they still have a very important role in the lives of their owners. These important pets can provide stress relief and alleviate the symptoms of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.

There are many kinds of animals that can be considered an ESA, including cats, dogs, and smaller pets like hamsters. The difference between a regular pet and an official emotional support animal is having an ESA letter that was signed by a mental health professional.

What Is an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter serves as evidence that an emotional support animal helps you manage a mental health disorder, which makes it part of your treatment plan. 

Having a valid letter is essential for getting special accommodation for your emotional support animal, which generally consists of being able to bring your pet into spaces where they wouldn't be allowed.

However, ESAs don't get as many privileges as service animals. For example, your ESA letter won't be honored by many of the major airlines, like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines.

An ESA letter can be issued by a licensed mental health professional for certain mental health conditions.

Any of the following licensed healthcare specialists can write up an ESA letter:
  • Registered Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Primary Care Doctors
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Psychiatrists
Some of the common mental conditions that qualify individuals to receive an ESA letter:
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Phobias, like Agoraphobia

If you need an emotional animal support letter but you're not currently getting treatment from a professional, there are paid services you can find through DoNotPay that will do an assessment and write the letter for you.

The Most Important ESA Letter Requirements (Plus a Detailed Template)

An ESA letter has to have certain elements to be valid, with the most important being that it's written and signed by a licensed mental health professional. The other required elements include:

  • The date the letter was written
  • Name and license number of the mental health professional
  • Type of license number
  • Address and phone number of the office
  • Explanation of your mental health issue
  • Explanation of why the emotional support animal helps the symptoms

Here is a general sample that your mental health professional can use as guidance of what needs to be in an emotional support animal letter.

To Whom This May Concern,

I've had the opportunity to evaluate [Patient Name] and he/she/they are suffering from a disability due to [specific mental health illness]. I have prescribed an emotional support animal to help him/her/they relieve stress, lower anxiety, and cope with other symptoms. Please call me with any questions.

Sincerely,

[Name/Signature]

Are Landlords Required to Accept ESAs?

Emotional support animal letters are more likely to be honored in certain states than they are in others. However, there is a federal law that offers some nationwide legal protections for having a pet companion.

The Fair Housing Act states that landlords have to provide "reasonable accommodation" for tenants that have an emotional support animal, as long as doing so wouldn't cause "undue hardship". That means you should be able to bring your pet companion to live with you, even in homes or buildings that have a no-pet policy.

How to Request an Emotional Support Animal Letter by Yourself 

If you're struggling with a mental health issue that could be improved by having an emotional support animal, you should begin the process of requesting a valid ESA letter. Getting this official document doesn't guarantee that you would be able to bring your pet companion everywhere, but it can definitely help in some situations.

Steps to request a therapy letter for an emotional support animal:

  1. Talk to any mental health professional that's already familiar with your case. If you're not currently in treatment, you can contact an ESA letter service that can evaluate you and prepare the necessary paperwork.
  2. Discuss the symptoms you're dealing with and how an emotional support animal would help you cope, which might include soothing anxiety or reducing stress.
  3. Explain that you need a letter that meets all the official requirements for getting your pet's official status as an emotional support animal.

How DoNotPay Can Make It Easier to Have an Emotional Support Animal

Having an emotional support animal is incredibly important for the people who depend on them. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to get the necessary accommodations for these special pet companions, especially if you don't have the right paperwork.

DoNotPay's Emotional Support Animal tool is here to make the process much easier and guide you every step of the way. Whether you're wondering what needs to be in an emotional support animal letter or need to find an online ESA letter service, you can get it all done with the help of this handy tool.

How DoNotPay Can Help With All Your Emotional Support Animal Concerns:

DoNotPay can help you address all of your ESA-related concerns, from contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation options, or 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 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.

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