Emotional support animals (ESA) are pets that support your mental health treatment however, you need to have an ESA letter that will allow you to keep your pet freely.
Some common questions that may come with this requirement include;
- What is an emotional support animal letter?
- How can I get an authentic ESA letter?
- Which service provider is best for getting a letter for emotional support animals? And much more.
I understand that your pet gives you so much joy and supports your mental health, as a result, you want it to be more than just a pet to you.
The good news is that this article will guide you to make that dream come true.
In this article, you will learn about everything you need to know about the ESA letter, how to get it, and the 5 best ESA letter services that will help you.
After reading this guide, you understand the benefits of having an ESA letter.
You will also know what to look out for in the content of an ESA letter so that no one can scam you with a fake document.
So, ensure you spend some time going through the details of this guide from start to finish before going out to get a letter for emotional support animals.
Now, let’s get into the details.
What is An ESA Letter?
A letter for emotional support animals is a legal document that bears the signature and permission of a qualified mental health professional (LMHP). You can also refer to it as an ESA evaluation or prescription letter which certifies that your animal (pet) is necessary for your mental and emotional treatment.
You can only get this letter if you truly going through mental health treatment.
So, to prove your claim, you must get your ESA letter from a therapist, psychiatrist, physician, or mental health professional who is currently treating you for your illness.
An ESA letter provides a lot of benefits to the holder.
Continue reading to learn about some of the benefits of an ESA letter.
What are the Benefits of an Emotional Support Letter?
There are so many restrictions surrounding a pet that’s why a valid ESA letter will protect your pet from it.
Some of these restrictions include:
1. Rental: Some landlords do not allow animals on their premises, while some may demand extra payments for your animal to stay with you. But with an ESA letter, you may not need to make any extra payment.
The Fair Housing Act exempts you and your pets from these fees because they understand that your pet serves a vital role in keeping you mentally and emotionally stable.
2. Travels: When it comes to traveling and boarding a flight with your pet, some airlines do not allow animals.
But an ESA letter allows you the privilege to board with your pet. However, each airline has its own policy so, it is important you contact your air carrier before booking.
Emotional support animals are not considered regular pets under federal housing regulations.
They have rights that ordinary pets do not.
Now that you know the major benefits of getting a letter for your emotional support animal, how then do you go about getting it?
What is the Process of Getting an Emotional Support Letter?
The first step in the process of getting an ESA letter is to select the best Emotional Support Letter service.
You will find a list of the top 5 ESA letter providers later in this article.
After selecting an ESA letter provider of your choice, the remaining process is pretty much straightforward.
Below are the processes you need to follow in acquiring your ESA letter:
- First, you will have to submit your contact information to the ESA letter provider.
- After that, an ESA expert will contact you. Any queries you may have will be answered during this call, after which the expert will set up an appointment with a mental health professional in your state.
- You will be asked about your symptoms during your meeting with the mental health expert so that they can determine if you qualify for an emotional support animal and you will also obtain an official diagnosis.
- You’ll get your ESA letter shortly after your session, sometimes within 24 hours (depending on the provider you choose).
Knowing how the procedure works will not only help you prepare but helps you avoid ESA letter providers that are not trustworthy.
For instance, if a provider skips the session with a mental health expert or only offers a health professional from another state, this is a red flag, and you should consider using another service.
Since the ESA letter service provider that you use is very vital in the process of getting a letter for emotional support animals, here are a few tips that will help you to select the best service provider.
How To Choose The Best ESA Letter Service for your Needs
There are some ESA letter providers who offer unofficial letters which are overcharged thereby taking advantage of those seeking help.
Hence, by keeping these factors in mind, it will help you screen out shady providers to ensure that you get the right services for your needs.
1. Consider the price:
Choose a service provider who can operate within your budget. However, keep in mind that when the price is too cheap it’s a red flag likewise when too expensive.
2. Ensure you get legal support:
When you face a dispute with your landlord or any other place over your ESA claim, knowing that your ESA letter provider is willing to offer advice and legal help is a good thing.
Having this as an option gives you peace of mind especially when you are dealing with anxiety issues.
3. Good customer service is a must:
It’s important to choose a service that provides prompt, friendly, and efficient customer service.
This assures you that any complaint and difficulty you encounter during the process will be quickly resolved.
4. Quick turnaround time from the service provider:
If you need a letter quickly, you’ll want to know how long it will take to service it. If you’re on a limited budget, you’ll want to keep an eye out for services that will speed up the procedure for a charge.
5. Mental health professional consultation:
This is the most crucial factor to consider, as well as the best technique to identify unauthorized services.
In order for your ESA to be legally approved, you must have a consultation with a mental health professional in your state (either via phone or video call).
There is a need to speak with them rather than just email them.
In addition to knowing how to select the best ESA letter service provider, you also know the content of an ESA letter.
This will help you to prevent scams. Continue reading to learn more about the content of an ESA letter.
What Is the Content of an ESA Letter?
Your ESA letter must include the following information:
- The letterhead and signature of a mental health practitioner, as well as the date of issuance.
- The type of mental health professional’s license, the date it was issued, the license number, and the state where it was issued.
- Confirmation that you need an emotional support animal in your life.
- ESA “prescription” (while technically not a prescription, it is commonly called an ESA prescription) or recommendation.
- Details about your pet (kind, breed, name, etc.) are optional but can be included.
Now, check out some of the top ESA letter providers below.
Top ESA Letter Service Providers Online: Reviews
We understand how difficult it can be to find the ideal ESA letter providers for your pet. So, we have put together a list of the top five ESA letter providers online that will help you with it.
1. U.S. Service Animals – Best Overall ESA Letter Service
This service was founded by lawyers, they provide excellent customer service, offer great value, and ensure that the entire process is stress-free and straightforward for you.
Currently, they are the largest ESA letter service and have been in operation since 2015. As a result of their expertise and experience, you can have complete confidence.
A group of lawyers came together to form the US Service Animals organization. Hence, you can be confident that the ESA letter that you will get from them will meet all of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) requirements.
Hence, whenever you run into issues, their legal experience team is willing to offer support.
If by any means your ESA letter process turns out unsuccessful with them, you can receive your money back.
Furthermore, you’ll also get access to the customer service and support team, who can assist you with the procedure over the phone, via email, and via live chat.
You can receive most of their letters within 24 hrs and they offer ESA letters for all 50 states.
Above all, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a Trustpilot average rating of 5.0 with over 3,458 reviews.
- It was founded by lawyers
- They have fantastic value and offer a money-back guarantee.
- Outstanding customer service
- They deliver quickly
- Impressive ratings on major review sites.
- They send too much promotional mail.
Visit the US Service Animals website to learn more.
2. Certapet – Fast PreScreening for an ESA Letter
Cartapet offers quick and reliable ESA letter consultations you can trust also their security method is quick and easy to use.
They are completely compliant with all legal requirements. As a result, prestigious publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Inc., and Fox, among others, have recognized them.
Considering the fact that not everyone
qualifies for an ESA, in order to save you time they offer a free pre-screening service before you talk with a licensed mental health professional.
This test takes only five minutes, so it’s a quick and painless approach to determining your chances of receiving an ESA letter.
You’ll be scheduled for a telehealth visit with a licensed mental health professional in your state if you pass the pre-screening process.
After that, once you are issued an ESA letter you can easily access it on CertaPet’s portal for easy online use and as well print it out as a PDF.
Your ESA letter can also be posted directly to your home address via USPS.
CertaPet’s customer service team is committed to giving you all of the information you require along the process, and they are happy to answer any questions you may have.
In addition, they offer psychiatric service dog housing and air travel letters.
With over 65,000 customers, 7500 reviews, and a 5-star rating you can simply say that Cartapet is one of the best.
- Easy telehealth appointment setup.
- 5 minutes pre-screening.
- 100% complaints on both federal and state levels.
- Fast turnaround
- Speak with a real licensed mental health professional.
- They offer letter consultations for both emotional support animals and psychiatric service dogs.
- A minor consultation cost is excluded from the money-back promise.
Visit the Certapet website to learn more.
3. Valid ESA Letters – Best PSD Training and ESA Letter Service
Valid ESA Letters is a fantastic alternative for people looking for both a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support animal.
They also offer PSD training classes in conjunction with ESA letters, so you may meet both demands at once.
Valid ESA Letters make it straightforward to determine whether you are eligible for both an ESA and a PSD.
While an ESA can provide numerous benefits to its owner, there are limitations to how much it can help you.
Because they aren’t recognized as assistance dogs, they aren’t allowed into public locations, therefore you won’t be able to bring them into places like grocery shops, schools, or airplane cabins.
However, because PSDs are officially classified as service dogs, they have additional privileges and can help you almost anywhere.
This is why they decided to offer a PSD training course and PSD qualification screening along with the ESA letter.
In addition, their ESA letters are issued by a licensed mental health expert in your state to function properly.
Although, their website doesn’t offer a way to check out on your own except when you input your card to speak to an ESA expert.
Nevertheless, their staff is pleasant to work with, particularly their legal team, who will aid you if your letter is found to be insufficient.
- There is a guarantee of receiving the letter
- There are no physical products advertised on the website.
- They offer both PSD training and ESA letters.
Visit the Valid ESA Letter website for more information.
4. Pettable – Fastest Option ESA Letter Service
Pettable is a legitimate and trustworthy service that helps you get an ESA letter within 24 hours, especially for those who require a letter quickly.
They also have a strong legal team, should there be any request to show more validation, be rest assured you’ll get it.
You’ll also speak with a qualified mental health physician in your state, ensuring that your letter is genuine and compliant with all legal standards.
Their online process involves just three simple steps;
- First, you have to take a 3 minutes quiz to help Pettable match you with the right therapist for your needs.
- After that, you’ll have a phone consultation with a licensed mental health professional in your state to determine whether an emotional support animal is the best option for you.
- You will receive your ESA letter in 24 hours if the mental health specialist believes you qualify for one.
After the letter has been sent you will be able to have a copy and also print it out to have a copy whenever you need it.
The Pettable Trustpilot review is 4.8/5.0 with lots of good reviews.
- Money-back guarantee if your ESA letter is not approved.
- Quick turnaround for ESA certification.
- Compliant with federal and state laws.
- Strong customer service team.
- Easy and convenient online process.
- Consultations are only conducted over the phone.
Visit the Pettable website to use their service.
5. Emotional Pet Support – Best Budget ESA Letter Service
Emotional Pet Support is an economical option that provides dependable, valid ESA letters promptly if money is a major factor.
Their ESA housing letters cost only $99, making them one of the most affordable ESA letter providers available.
Furthermore, you are entitled to a complete refund if your letter does not work for you (as long as you request it within 30 days of purchasing your ESA letter).
It’s very simple to discover if you qualify for an ESA with Emotional Pet Support.
The first step is to complete a 10-minute ESA questionnaire, which includes questions about the animal you want to register as well as questions about your mental health.
After that, a registered mental health expert will review your exam results with you to see if you qualify, and then write your letter.
This method might be especially beneficial if you’re worried about the types of questions you’ll be asked during your exam, or if you just want to feel more prepared to talk about your symptoms and experience.
While Emotional Pet Support provides the majority of what you need from an ESA service, there are certain shortcomings.
For one thing, if you register multiple animals, you will be charged an additional fee, which might be a huge disincentive if you are already on a tight budget.
Another issue is that the website is unappealing and difficult to navigate; while it is a real service, this might make it appear unprofessional.
Finally, their Trustpilot rating is only 3.8, which is lower than all of the services above it.
- A simple online exam to help see if you qualify.
- A full refund is available within 30 days of purchase.
- Only $99 for a housing letter
- Trustpilot score is only 3.8/5.0
- Website is unattractive
- Charges for multiple pets
Visit the Emotional Pet Support website for more information.
Now, let’s find out who qualifies for an ESA letter.
Who Qualifies for an Emotional Support Letter?
To legally qualify for an ESA letter, you need to have a mental health diagnosis recognized by a licensed mental health professional.
There are numerous different forms of mental illnesses or diseases that can qualify for an ESA letter.
They include diagnoses like:
- Mild or severe anxiety
- Panic attack
- Bipolar disorder
- Stress-induced situations
- Social shyness
- Aerophobia (fear of flying)
- General anxiety disorder
- Agoraphobia (fear of being outside of the home)
Let’s find out how to spot a fake ESA Letter.
How to Spot a Fake ESA Letter
With so many scammers on the Internet, knowing how to recognize a fake support animal letter is crucial.
The following are some telling signals that an emotional support animal letter is fake:
- It wasn’t authored by a licensed mental health professional.
- It is not printed on LMHP letterhead.
- Not written by a licensed mental health professional in your state.
- The LMHP who wrote it has no license number or contact information.
- The date of issue is not included.
- Instead of “emotional support animal,” it uses phrases like “therapy animal” or “service animal.”
An ESA letter has numerous advantages because it clarifies the identity of your pet and its participation in your treatment.
As a result, with the ESA letter, you get to keep your Emotional Support Animals with you at all times.
Also, this allows you to enter places that are generally off-limits to pets.
An ESA letter might also help you find housing in circumstances when the landlord prohibits pets or charges extra fees for them.
Furthermore, knowing how to choose an ESA letter service and having a thorough understanding of the procedures will help you know if you qualify.
That said, having knowledge of the contents of an ESA letter will help you detect an illegitimate service.
We have done a thorough explanation of what letters for emotional support animals is all about and how to get them.
You can go over this article again to get the full information.
Frequently Asked Questions about ESA Letters
What Makes The ESA Letter Legitimate?
These requirements are what make an ESA legitimate.
First, the letter must be on the official letterhead of an LMHP.
Secondly, it must have a mental health professional license number.
Must have the LMHP contact info
It must follow the HUD housing Act.
How Often Do ESA Letters Need to Be Renewed?
An ESA letter demands renewal every year because any ESA letter that is older than one year is usually not accepted by any legal procedures.
Also, you will need to annually be in contact with a licensed mental health professional to check your progress.
What does an ESA letter look like?
A certified ESA letter will feature your LMHP’s official letterhead, license number, contact information, and the date the letter was issued.
In the body of the letter, it will use specific wording to explain your need for an emotional support animal.
Who can write an ESA letter?
Only a licensed mental health professional can write an ESA letter. This includes
Licensed clinical social workers
Licensed marriage and family therapists
Family doctor with experience in mental health
Licensed professional mental health counselors
Licensed clinical psychologists
Can a nurse practitioner prescribe an ESA letter?
If that nurse practitioner has a license to practice mental health care, then yes.
How can I avoid an ESA letter Scam?
Look out for ESA letter services that offer an ESA letter too quickly.
When the price is too cheap and doesn’t require a consultation with a therapist.
Aside from that, make sure the LMHP they connect you with is licensed, and check out the website rating on Google.
- U.S.ServiceAnimals.Org – How To Get An ESA Letter | The Legitimate Way