The Evergreen State is known for its strong commitment to supporting assistance animals and their owners. As a resident of Washington, housing laws protect your emotional support animal as long as you have an ESA letter.
If you want to acquire a legitimate ESA Letter in Washington, first, you need to establish a connection with a healthcare professional licensed for Washington.
How to Get an ESA Letter in Washington
You can acquire an ESA Letter in Washington through your therapist, doctor, or online via ESADoctors. Thanks to technology, you can conveniently and securely obtain an ESA Letter online from the comfort of your home.
- Complete the online form with ESA Doctors
Submit information about your interest in qualifying for an ESA letter.
- Match with a Washington-licensed professional
To qualify for an ESA, you must be evaluated by a healthcare professional licensed in Washington. ESA Doctors will connect you with a licensed healthcare professional knowledgeable about emotional support animals.
- Get a Legitimate Washington ESA Letter
The healthcare professional will determine if you have a mental or emotional health condition that benefits from the presence of an emotional support animal. If so, they will issue a signed ESA letter to you.
If you are currently seeing a therapist or doctor for your mental health issues, you should first turn to them for help. Let them know that you believe an ESA could be beneficial to you, and ask if an ESA letter is something they can write.
If your doctor or therapist can’t or doesn’t want to write an ESA letter, don’t be discouraged. You can work with online providers like ESA Doctors, who work with professionals who specialize in ESA letters.
ESA Letter Requirements for Washington
In Washington, it is essential to have a Washington-licensed mental health professional write your valid ESA letter. Whether you obtain your ESA letter online or in person, it must be signed and dated by the health professional.
The provider must have a valid, active license. The letter should state that you have a mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and that an emotional support animal helps alleviate symptoms of your condition.
Which laws protect my ESA in Washington?
The Fair Housing Act obliges housing providers to accommodate your emotional support animal. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals and requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for people with physical and mental health disabilities.
Under HUD’s guidelines, landlords, co-ops, HOAs, and other housing providers must reasonably accommodate ESAs without extra charges (no pet fees or deposits are allowed). Housing providers also can’t deny an ESA because of its size, weight, or breed. Emotional support animals are considered assistance animals, not pets, and are exempt from pet policies.
To demonstrate to your landlord that you need an ESA, you must have a legitimate ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. Landlords are not permitted to ask for specifics about your disability or demand a diagnosis or medical records.
Note: In Washington, like every other State, an emotional support animal is not considered a service dog. Service dogs, like psychiatric service dogs, must have specialized training to perform tasks that emotional support animals are not required to undertake.
Your Emotional Support Animal in Washington
Your emotional support animal has a special role in your life and can help you through difficult times. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as an ESA owner is important.
Being a responsible ESA owner means you have a valid ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. Working with a trusted organization like ESA Doctors can give you confidence that you’re obtaining an ESA letter in Washington the right way.