How to get an Emotional Support Animal Letter

As an emotional support animal (ESA) owner, you get special privileges surrounding air travel and housing. Fortunately, people can get their animal companions to qualify as ESAs by getting ESA letters. Federal law requires that you get an ESA letter or a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare provider. Contrary to popular opinion, getting an ESA by using a license, registration, ID card, or vest is not an option.

ESAs are typically provided to people who have been diagnosed with mental health conditions. These include, but do not limit to, anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD, and PTSD.

ESA Certifcate.org is a technology-based company that aims to help support animal owners connect with licensed health care providers across the country. These include primary care physicians, general physicians, mental health professionals, and therapists. We take pride in simplifying the process of getting ESA letters for our clients, especially those who face financial constraints or cannot visit health care professionals personally.

Did you know?

  • You may get an ESA letter only from a licensed health care provider.
  • You and your ESA can reside in a no-pet building.
  • You don’t have to pay fees for your ESA to your landlord, homeowner’s association (HOA), or housing cooperative (co-op).
  • ESAs are not subject to weight and breed restrictions.
  • Your ESA can accompany you in an airplane cabin without additional fees.
  • ESAs can help manage conditions such as OCD, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

How the Process Works

Start the Questionnaire

Use the “Get Started” button and answer a few simple questions. We use your responses to guide you to a licensed mental health care provider. He or she then determines if you qualify for an ESA. You can rest easy knowing that we ensure complete confidentiality of your answers.

Make a Secure Payment

Once you complete the questionnaire, you need to make a payment through our completely encrypted and highly secure payments page. In case you don’t receive an ESA letter, we refund your money in quick time. We do not link therapist fees with ESA letter eligibility in order to avoid any conflict of interest.

Connect with the Licensed Healthcare Provider

You receive a standardized consent form from your licensed mental health care professional, after which your eligibility for an ESA is taken in account. We work with professional who use compassion in their decision making, while also relying on their individual sensibilities.

Use Your ESA Letter

If you are eligible for an ESA letter, you get a digital copy of the same within one to three business days from the date of approval. Then, you may use it to your benefit for housing as well as air travel.

In case you face any problems along the way, or have any doubts, you may contact our support team for assistance. Our experts are always happy to help.

Common Questions about Getting an ESA Letter

What information does an ESA letter have and does it mention details about my ailment?
An ESA letter needs to be on a professional letter lead. It should include your health care professional’s licensing information as well as verifiable contact details. It should also be duly dated and signed.

Your ESA letter does not have to include details about your disability’s diagnosis or severity. In addition, an airline or a landlord cannot ask for a medial examination or your medical records.

The letter basically establishes that you have been diagnosed with an emotional or a mental disability, as per the Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act. It also indicates that your ESA would help in assuaging symptoms of your disability.

Do I need an ID card, a vest, a license, or a certificate if I already have an ESA letter?
Registering your ESA letter is not a requirement. The only document you require for getting your animal companion to qualify as an emotional support animal is an ESA letter.

Does an ESA letter come in handy at other places such as hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, or stadiums?
Your ESA letter grants rights only for air travel and housing. You cannot use it to get access to public places that prohibit entry of animals. While hotels are under no obligation to accept guests with ESAs, many do. When travelling, it is best to check this aspect with hotels ahead of time.

Who qualifies to write an ESA letter? Does it have to be a doctor or a physician?
Any health care professional who is actively licensed to practice in your state can give you an ESA letter. This can be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, a counselor, or even a physician’s assistant. Physicians may write ESA letters too. However, given that there is no such legal requirement, physicians account for a small percentage when it comes to ESA letter issuers. ESA Certificate helps you connect with a licensed professional based on where you live and any other specific requirement.

Is the validity of an ESA letter I receive online the same as one I might receive in person by visiting a counselor or a therapist?
Yes. According to the U.S. Department of Housing, licensed professionals who offer remote services may provide ESA letters. You may seek online help if you have trouble finding a licensed professional in your vicinity, if your condition restricts your movement, if you have financial constraints, or if you have problems scheduling an in-person appointment.

Does an ESA letter have an expiry date or is it valid for life?
If you wish to use an ESA letter for travelling by air, you need to renew it each year. ESA letters related to housing come with no technical expiry dates. However, there are instances when landlords ask for recently dated letters if the ones presented are very old.

When do I need to get an ESA letter – before or after adopting an emotional support animal?
You may get an ESA letter prior to or after adopting an ESA. Your existing animal companion may also qualify for an ESA letter. While an ESA letter mentions the type of animal, it does not include specifics about the animal you plan to use.

Will I need to present a hard copy of my ESA letter?
You don’t need an ESA letter with a physical ‘wet ink’ signature. What the letter requires is your health care professional’s licensing information and contact details, which one may use for verification purpose. ESA Certificate provides ESA letters in digital format. Should you need a hardcopy, we can work on sending one to you.

The airline I’m traveling with is asking for additional forms even though I have an ESA letter. Is that allowed?
According to guidance issued by the Department of Transportation, airlines should not ask passengers with ESA letters to complete additional forms. However, a number of airlines continue with this practice. Your health care provider can assist in completing the forms, and you may seek our services to process your request. This comes with an added fee, as listed under our specialized documentation service.

Getting an ESA Qualification has never been easier!

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