Did you know over 61 million Americans suffer from a mental or emotional disability? If you’re one of the afflicted, you may qualify for a New York Emotional Support Animal (ESA).
How To Get A New York Emotional Support Animal
Typically dogs and cats, through their companion an affection, a New York ESA helps to lessen the symptoms of an emotional disability.
Governed by various Federal laws, an Emotional Support Animal requires no specialized training (e.g. service dogs, etc.).
How to qualify for an emotional support animal?
Qualifications for an ESA is straightforward. A licensed mental health professional will certify your disability and issue a letter of recommendation which you provide to your landlord or airline gate agent.
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Components of your New York ESA letter
Per Federal guidelines, your ESA letter of recommendation (written within the last year on the doctor’s letterhead) will contain important data points informing the reader (landlord, airline, etc.) that you are:
- A current patient of the mental health provider who’s writing the letter
- You’re under their care and treatment of a mental or emotional disability that’s outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version IV or V
- Your emotional disability restricts you from daily participating or completing at least one significant activity
- The recommendation of an Emotional Support Animal is an important part of your mental health treatment
Here’s a short list of various mental disorders that qualify for an ESA letter.
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Cognitive disorders
- Gender identity crisis
- Learning disorders
- Sexual disorder
Why is an ESA letter necessary?
Your doctor recommended an ESA letter will confirm your mental disability to others (landlords, airlines staff, etc.). This letter will:
- Recognize that you’re under the care of a licensed mental health professional’s for an emotional or psychological disability
- Confirm your emotional disability limits your day-to-day activities, which in turn adversely impacts your mental health.
- The ESA recommendation is a mandatory reinforcement for your emotional impairment.
The letter especially comes in handy when:
Renting a home – The Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAct) provides emotionally disabled individuals with the right to live with their ESA even in no-pets-allowed housing. Property owners are legally required to accept your emotional support animal. We note letter holders are accountable to keep their ESA documentation up to date (expires annually).
During air travel – The Federal Air Carrier Access Act allowed ESA travelers to bring the animal into the main cabin. There are important compliance rules that must be followed, otherwise, the airline is not required to make reasonable accommodations.
Certain, though limited, public places (hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls) will allow emotional support animals.