Are Online ESA Letters Legit?
While many ESA letters are available on the internet, not all are high-quality or reliable. When searching for an emotional support animal letter, it is crucial to ensure that the one you choose has a reputable medical practitioner certification.
You can use an online ESA letter to obtain various types of benefits and services. The information contained within it must be accurate and complete. Ensure the medical professional attending assists with your disability in order to qualify for benefits.
If your letter contains false or misleading information, you could be subject to significant fines and penalties. Read through to find out what you need to know about the legitimacy of ESA letters.
What is an ESA Letter?
ESA letters are a crucial part of the process for obtaining Social Security disability benefits, but many people are unaware of what these letters are and how they can help.
These emotional support animal letters—also known as physicians’ statements or medical evidence—are written by licensed mental and emotional health professionals.
In order to qualify for one, the mental health professional should have treated a person with a mental health disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, and other mental health issues. The purpose is to document and confirm a diagnosis that prevents the person from working.
The letter states that the person who requires emotional support animals can benefit from the presence of psychiatric service dogs. A legitimate ESA letter justifies why an emotional support animal should have permission to live in a rental property.
- The name of the pet owner or person requesting an emotional support animal (sometimes referred to as “person with a disability”)
- The name of your licensed mental health professional who is providing this service (this could be your primary care physician or any other provider)
- A diagnosis code for your mental health condition (including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment plans, and prognosis) allows you to prove that what you’re asking for is legitimate, not just someone wanting just a pet.
- A statement regarding whether or not the applicant can work with or without accommodations.
- A statement regarding whether or not the applicant will be able to return to work within 12 months (or 24 months if the disabling condition is going to last longer than 12 months).
Why is an ESA Letter Important?
If you are unable to work, this letter is essential. This letter is necessary because the government does not recognize disability status as a reason not to work. In order to receive benefits from programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicare, you’ll need a valid ESA letter.
The ESA letter is also helpful in situations where you may be able to work, but your mental or emotional disability prevents you from doing so without assistance or accommodations. For example, some people with disabilities may need help with transportation or care for their own medical needs at home. If this is the case for you, you can use an ESA letter as evidence that these needs make it impossible for you to work.
Do I Need Approval from My Landlord Before Moving in with An ESA?
You won’t need to get any kind of approval before you move in with an ESA. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) doesn’t require landlords or management companies to allow pets. Still, it does prohibit landlords from discriminating against people who have disabilities and need a service animal.
This is because these animals are not just pets. A service animal has been individually trained to perform tasks related to their handler’s disabilities.
As long as you have a letter from your doctor saying that you qualify under the FHA and state/local laws—which can vary depending on where you live—you should be able to move into an apartment with your pet without needing anyone’s permission first.
Is an Online ESA Letter Legit?
ESA letters are legally binding and valid for one year. They allow your pet to enter public places with pet restrictions, such as restaurants and hotels, at the discretion of the establishment’s staff. However, they do not replace a pet insurance policy, which you should still consider purchasing.
How To Know Your ESA letter is Legit.
If you’ve been looking for an online ESA letter, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of different options out there. It can be hard to figure out which ones are legitimate and which ones aren’t.
That’s why we’re here—to help you ensure that your online ESA letter is legit. Here’s how:
The best online ESA letters will come with a reasonable deadline for the kind of service you need. If they don’t have one, it could mean they’re trying to get you to pay more than you need to or (in some cases) that they don’t care about your situation and want to take advantage of you!
Besides, if they’re asking you to pay right away, this might not be a good sign. The process of getting an ESA letter online takes some time, so if they’re pressuring you to pay right away, it could be a scam.
The cost of getting an official document like an ESA letter online varies depending on where you live, as well as whether or not there is a fee for visiting with a licensed mental health professional.
If there is no cost for visiting with a healthcare professional getting an online ESA letter may be cheaper than going through another company that charges extra fees for those services. It all depends on how much time and money it takes to make things happen.
Also, legit ESA letter providers have a money-back guarantee that builds the confidence they aren’t scammers.
3. Healthcare Professional Licensure
Check the healthcare professional licensure information on their site. If they don’t have a license number or state board registration number listed on their website, they likely aren’t licensed to practice in your state. If they have these numbers listed, you’ll want to ensure they’re up-to-date and valid by checking with your state’s professional licensure board.
If the state doesn’t license the company, then that isn’t a good sign either! It means they don’t have any oversight over what they do and may not be reliable at all—not only with their services but also with their legal advice as well!
4. Official Letterhead
Your letter should also come on official letterhead. It should have the name of the doctor or practitioner who wrote it, their address and contact information, and their medical license number. The letter should also have an official seal from your state’s medical board. If you can’t verify these details, it’s a good idea to call your state’s medical board and ask if they’ve sent a letter like this to you before.
If it doesn’t have official letterhead, then it’s probably not an authentic document. You can check for this by looking for things like:
- Name of the agency issuing the letter (e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs)
- Address of the agency issuing the letter (e.g., P.O. Box 4444, Somewhereville, USA)
- Date of issue (e.g., November 12, 2020)
- The name, signature, title, and signature date of a person authorized to sign on behalf of the agency (e.g., John Doe, Veteran Services Officer)
- A phone number
- A logo or seal from the issuing agency
5. Expiration Date
ESA letters expire after one year from the date it’s issued. Any online ESA letter with an expiration date of more than one year from the time of issuance is most likely invalid! The only exception is if the issuing company has renewed.
6. Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Another thing you want to make sure of is that the company you’re applying through has Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation. This means the company has a third-party review and is found to be reputable. Most reputable companies will proudly display their BBB accreditation on their website or in other marketing materials. Without BBB accreditation, you can’t trust the legitimacy of any service they offer—including their ability to issue ESA letters for your assistance animal.
7. Terms of Service Agreement
- How long they’ll keep your information
- What they plan on doing with it after collecting it (e.g., sending emails)
- Steps put in place to protect this information from hackers or unauthorized access (e.g., encryption)
How Long Will It Take To Get My ESA Letter?
The turnaround time for an ESA letter depends on your provider. Some providers are more expensive than others, and some have longer wait times than others. Choose a different ESA provider if you can afford to pay more for a faster turnaround time.
Generally, it may take anywhere from one to four days for your ESA letter approval going by the service you choose. However, there are also some services that will take longer than this (usually because they’re more popular).
What Are The Benefits Of Using An Online Service For An ESA Letter?
Online services, like ESA Pet, provide one major benefit: convenience. You don’t have to leave your house and go somewhere else to get your emotional support animals’ letter. Instead, everything happens right in front of your computer screen! That makes things much easier on everyone —especially if they have bad eyesight or mobility issues.
Takeaway – Are Online ESA letters Legit?
Online emotional support animal letters are legit. ESA letters don’t require print-outs, they are notarized and sent by mail.
You don’t have to spend money printing your letter or going through all the hassles of getting it notarized in person at your local bank or government office before mailing it off! You can get it online through a legitimate ESA letter company or agency.
Ultimately, conducting thorough research on emotional support animal letters is essential before ordering either a certificate or a verification form. This will eliminate the risk of your ESA letter facing rejection in the future. In order to make sure that you are getting a legitimate certification, check that your licensed therapist has received accreditation from an official U.S. source.