Who Can Write an ESA Letter?
In many cases, the only way to ensure your emotional support animal (ESA) can be with you when you need its support is by obtaining an official emotional support animal letter signed by a licensed mental health professional.
But precisely who can write an ESA letter? Many types of certified mental health professionals can write an emotional support animal letter for you. What makes the action more difficult is that the list of qualifying professions varies by specific state or airline.
In the US, as of January 10, 2022, there were approximately 222,314 ESAs and service animals combined. Service animals must be accommodated in the home of their owner, and in public areas, most anyplace they travel, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But emotional support animals don't have such all-encompassing rights.
Their rights differ by location and, due to recent legislation, airlines are no longer required to accommodate them. Several airlines, like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, continue to do so. But whichever airline you choose, you may need to present an ESA letter. So, it's important to know the overall rules for ESAs, the changing laws specific to your state, any airline you are considering, and how to obtain an ESA letter.
DoNotPay can help you get information on various entities and book an online appointment for you with a certified mental health professional. Emotional support animals are highly therapeutic for people experiencing certain types of problems and we are here to help make the process easier for you to have your emotional support dog or other animal as a companion on an airline flight is essential or even keep your emotional support pet in a rental property which normally doesn't permit pets.
What Is an Emotional Support Animal?
An emotional support animal is a pet prescribed by a mental health professional to help a person experiencing a debilitating mental illness. ESAs provide support through companionship. They can assist in easing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and certain types of phobias.
ESAs differ from service animals. In most cases, only dogs can serve as service animals, and they must be trained to perform certain types of tasks. Thus, it's much easier for an animal to qualify as an ESA. And any type of domestic animal can be approved to serve as a service animal.
You are the one who must qualify to have an emotional support animal by having a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist, or similar approved mental health professional determine that you have an emotional/mental need to have the animal with you in certain situations, like at home or while traveling.
What Is an ESA Letter?
Service animals don't need a letter to allow them access to public places and the right to stay in their owner's residence. But ESAs must have a letter signed by a licensed mental health professional to prove their status. Certificates won't serve the purpose–they're not the same as letters.
Different states have varying laws regarding emotional support animals. For example, in Michigan, a law protects your right to have an emotional support animal living with you, even if you reside in a building which doesn't allow pets. But Federal Fair Housing Act rules only protect those rights for emotional support animals if the tenant who owns the support animal can present a valid ESA letter.
An ESA letter must include:
- A licensed physician or other mental health professional's license number.
- The expiration date of the license.
- The date the letter was issued.
- The physician's contact information, so a property owner or airline can verify the letter is legitimate.
Who Can Write an ESA Letter
If you need an emotional support animal, talk with your mental health professional about your condition and your concerns. Together, you can decide what type of pet would best meet your needs.
If you already have a pet that's appropriate and fulfills a therapeutic need, your mental health professional can write an ESA letter so you can have your rights upheld.
|Some of the common mental conditions that qualify individuals to receive an ESA letter:||
|Any of the following licensed healthcare specialists can write up an ESA letter:||
Example Letter to Request an Emotional Support Letter for a Landlord or Airline
Here is a summary of essential information to include and a basic structure for a letter you can compose and send to your mental health professional requesting them to write an ESA letter.
Your name, address, phone number, email
Dear (insert complete name of your mental health professional)
I am requesting that you prepare a letter for me to send to (insert recipient's name and contact information) explaining my justified need for my emotional support animal.
Please compose the letter on your professional letterhead. Address it to (insert recipient's name). Please explain why I need my emotional support animal and mention that the condition is approved and protected under (insert relevant statutes).
Thank you so much for assisting me with this matter.
(Sign or type your legal name)
How to Find Someone Who Can Write an ESA Letter
Requesting that someone write an ESA letter on your own can require a significant amount of effort.
- You'll need to have a consultation with a mental health professional who is familiar with you and the condition for which you require an emotional support animal. It is sometimes possible to find an online therapist who may qualify.
- You must then visit or contact that mental health professional with a request to have an emotional support letter containing the required information sent to the proper person or entity.
Remember, the person who sends your letter must be a mental health professional officially approved to send an ESA letter in your state or by the entity you are approaching. If the process isn't done properly, it won't be successful in accomplishing its goal of getting your emotional support animal accepted.
If you're worried your efforts to get an emotional support letter may not meet with success, if you don't have time or are confused about the process, don't be discouraged, just let DoNotPay assist.
Next Steps for Finding Someone Who Can Write an ESA Letter if You Can't Do It Yourself
You can ask a mental health professional who is treating your condition to write an ESA for housing so your pet will be allowed to live with you. You can also ask for an ESA letter to request accommodation for an emotional support animal to travel on an airline with you. Or you can contact DoNotPay to send a request to your mental health professional for you.
DoNotPay provides the perfect solution if you need help claiming rights related to your emotional support animal. We can help you request ESA accommodation by getting answers to your questions, requesting an ESA letter from your mental health professional or sending a demand letter to a landlord or an airline to help enforce your legal rights.
The process of sorting out and enforcing your legal rights relating to your support animal, and getting your mental health professional to write an ESA letter, can be frustrating, lengthy, and tedious. But DoNotPay can make the process easier for you.
DoNotPay can't write an ESA for you, since we don't employ medical/mental health professionals. But we can write a letter requesting an ESA letter, or a demand letter if a legitimate ESA request has been submitted, but is not being honored by a landlord or airline.
DoNotPay Can Solve the Problem of Getting an ESA Letter for You
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, asking your current mental health professional to write an ESA letter, or finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.
Here's how to proceed to obtain our services:
- 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 do one of three things relating to your ESA needs:
- Generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf.
- Contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer.
- Send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.
Why Use DoNotPay to Help Get Someone to Write an ESA Letter
Using DoNotPay to help solve the problem of getting an ESA letter written is fast, easy and successful. We will make the best effort possible to get your ESA letter written, or to address other issues regarding emotional support animals. You'll be spared time and trouble. The process will be easy since we'll perform most of the steps for you.
More DoNotPay Products for Your Pets
Helping get ESA letters written and addressing ESA issues is just the beginning of what we can do for you and for your pets. DoNotPay offers multiple products for helping you deal with pet-related issues like:
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Solving the problem of figuring out who can write an ESA letter and getting one written is just one problem DoNotPay can help you with. Here’s more:
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