Who Can Write an Emotional Support Letter? | ESA Pet

Who Can Write an Emotional Support Letter?

ESA Pet Staff

Updated on - Written by


An ESA Letter is a document that certifies your animal as a legitimate emotional support animal and allows you to live and travel with your pet. This letter provides legal protection under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). 

An emotional support animal is great if you’re suffering from a psychological condition, either anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental disorders. 

However, having an emotional support animal is always challenging, especially if you need a letter to prove so. For instance, you may need help flying with your ESA (Emotional Support Animal) despite having a phobia. Or you may have found a fantastic apartment to rent with your ESA, but the landlord has a no-pets policy. 

You’ll have to leave your emotional support pet behind when flying or find another apartment to rent, which is unfair. Luckily, with a valid ESA letter, you don’t have to worry about all these setbacks. You can fly across the country peacefully and rent or buy the house you want. In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about ESA letters. 

Who Can Write an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letter? 

To qualify for an ESA, you must have a letter from a mental health professional verifying your need for an emotionally supportive animal. But who is qualified to write this ESA letter for you? 

When it comes to who can write a valid ESA letter, it’s always the licensed mental health providers. These include a psychologist, a licensed therapist, a social worker, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, or a physician. If you’re looking for an ESA letter for your pet, it’s best to be cautious and ensure the health professional has the necessary licensing to sign that document. 

As an ESA owner, the last thing you want is a fake ESA letter signed by an unlicensed mental health provider. It’s due to fake ESA letters that you need an in-betweener like EsaPet. We provide ESA letters by taking you through a simple and quick process. We also ensure the legalities are ironclad. 

Let’s look at some of the qualifications licensed healthcare professionals must possess to write an ESA letter. 

Proper Training 

To be qualified to write such a letter, these individuals have received the proper training. They have the expertise to assess a patient’s mental or emotional disabilities and determine if an emotional support animal would benefit their well-being.

Recognized by the Licensing Board

Whoever is going to write the ESA letter must not only be an experienced mental health provider but must also be recognized by their peers. 

This means conducting a background check on the therapist or psychiatrist to determine if they’re listed under the state’s licensing board. At EsaPet, we do all the homework, ensuring that only licensed doctors are responsible for writing and signing your ESA letter.  

Other than being listed under the state’s licensing board, it’s also crucial for the medical practitioner to be familiar with the specific laws and regulations regarding emotional support animals. 

Deeper Understanding of the Patient

The professional writing your ESA letter can and should provide a comprehensive evaluation of your mental health. Psychologists, therapists, and other mental health professionals are well-equipped to write an emotional support letter as they deeply understand your mental illness and can provide relevant information. 

The emotional support animal letter must include specific information, such as the patient’s diagnosis, how the animal provides support, and the therapist’s recommendation for the animal to be considered an ESA. 

Trustworthy 

When writing the emotional support animal letter, more than credibility is needed. The medical professional must be trustworthy. 

When searching for practitioners to work with, EsaPet goes the extra mile to ensure they’re people we can trust. EsaPet ensures that those who can write ESA letters are genuinely concerned about your well-being. 

How Can ESA Pet Help People Get Their ESA Letter Online? 

At Esa Pet, we understand the importance of having a companion by your side, especially during difficult times. Our team of licensed mental health practitioners is here to help you navigate the process of obtaining an ESA Letter so you can enjoy the comfort and support of your furry friend. An ESA Letter can help you in many ways, such as:

  • Access to no-pet housing policies
  • The ability to fly with your animal in the cabin of an aircraft
  • Protection against discrimination in public places

Getting an ESA Letter can be a complicated process, but with EsaPet, it doesn’t have to be. Our licensed mental health professionals are here to guide you every step of the way. We offer 

  • A simple and quick online evaluation process
  • Affordable pricing options 
  • Fast turnaround time
  • 24/7 customer support

The evaluation process is simple and convenient. You can complete it from the comfort of your home in just a few easy steps: 

  1. Please fill out our online application form
  2. Schedule a virtual consultation with one of our licensed mental experts
  3. Receive your ESA Letter via email within three working days 
  4. Start the process today

Don’t wait any longer to get the support you need. Apply now for your ESA Letter and enjoy the comfort and support of your beloved pet. 

Our team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today and start the journey to a better life with your emotional support animal. 

Step-By-Step Process of Getting an ESA Letter 

Getting an emotional support animal letter is straightforward. Here are some steps you will take to receive your ESA letter. 

ESA Pet How it works

Consult a Mental Health Professional 

The first step in getting an ESA letter is to consult a mental and emotional health professional. It is essential to have a mental health professional evaluate your emotional and psychological condition to determine whether an ESA would help alleviate your symptoms. 

Provide Medical Records 

To support your claim, provide your mental health professional with medical records that outline your mental health history. This information will help your doctor do a mental health assessment to determine whether an ESA suits you. 

Schedule an Evaluation

After you have gathered the necessary information, you should schedule an evaluation with your mental health professional. During the assessment, your therapist will assess your condition, discuss your symptoms, and determine if an ESA would help alleviate them. 

Obtain the ESA letter

If your psychiatrist or therapist determines that an ESA would benefit you, they will write an ESA letter. The letter should state that you have a mental condition and require an ESA to provide emotional support. It should also mention the type of animal you chose as your ESA.

Register Your ESA

After you have obtained your ESA letter, you should register your animal as an ESA. You can do this by filling out a registration form and providing proof of your ESA letter.

Keep Your ESA Letter Handy

Once you have obtained and registered your ESA, it is essential to keep your ESA letter handy. When traveling with your animal, you may need to present your ESA letter to landlords, airlines, or other organizations.

The key is to consult a mental and emotional health professional and provide the necessary information to support your claim. With an ESA letter, you can enjoy the comfort and support of your animal wherever you go. 

Ready to get your ESA letter?

Get your Official ESA Letter Consultation form a licensed therapist.

Get ESA Letter Now

What Do ESA Letters Need to Include?

ESA letters should be written by a licensed mental health professional, like a therapist, psychologist, or physician, and they should include the following information: 

  1. Contact details of the professional issuing the letter, including their name, address, and phone number
  2. A clear statement that the person needing the ESA has mental health problems, as recognized by the ADA or similar state law
  3. The letter explains how the ESA helps your mental well-being
  4. The date the issuer wrote the letter
  5. The type of professional license the issuer holds
  6. The animal’s details, including its specific breed, weight, and restrictions

It’s worth noting that the laws and regulations surrounding ESA letters can vary, so it’s important to check the specific requirements for your area before getting an ESA letter. Therefore, other details to expect in a legitimate ESA letter include the following: 

  • License type and the number of the LMHP (licensed medical health provider) 
  • State in which they’re licensed to practice
  • Date their license was issued 
  • Date of issue for the letter
  • Information about your condition
  • Original or digital signature from LMHP 

What to Look Out for Before Getting an Online ESA Letter

Before getting an online ESA letter, there are several key things to look out for to ensure that the process is legitimate and that the letter will be recognized by airlines, landlords, and housing facilities.

Credibility of the Online Provider

Make sure that the online provider you choose is reputable and that the ESA letter is written by a licensed mental health professional. Research and look for reviews from previous customers to ensure you get quality service.

Legality

Ensure that the online provider and the mental health professional comply with state and federal laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require ESA letters, but some states and airlines may have specific requirements.

Cost

Be cautious of online providers who offer ESA letters at a significantly lower price than other providers. Some may not be legitimate or may provide low-quality letters that will not be recognized by airlines, landlords, or housing facilities.

Questions and Evaluations

Issuing a legitimate ESA letter is possible only after a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s mental health and disability by a licensed mental health professional. The online provider should ask several questions about your condition and require a diagnosis of mental disorders from a health professional.

Format and Content 

The ESA letter should be written on professional letterhead and include the mental health professional’s name, license number, and signature. It should also include the individual’s name and the type of animal they have, as well as a statement that the animal is necessary for the individual’s mental health. 

The other aspects to take into consideration include the following: 

  • ESA letter service features
  • Discounts and guarantees
  • Turnaround time
  • Quality mental health experts
  • Legal support
  • Customer support

Side Note: 

It’s important to take the time to carefully research and consider online ESA letter providers to ensure that the process is legitimate and the letter is recognized by airlines, landlords, and housing facilities. By doing so, individuals can rest assured a legitimate person can write an ESA letter, so their animal companion can receive the emotional support they need. 

Frequently Asked Questions About ESA Letters

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding emotional support animal letters. 

Who Can Write an ESA Letter? 

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter is typically written by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker. These professionals are authorized to diagnose and treat mental health conditions and can assess an individual’s need for an ESA. 

Not all mental health professionals are qualified to write ESA letters, and some may not support using ESAs for emotional support.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Having an ESA Letter?

Some ESA (Emotional Support Animal) letter benefits include:

  • Access to housing: An ESA letter can allow the holder to live with their emotional support animal in rental properties with a “no pets” policy.
  • Air travel: The holder of an ESA letter can bring their emotional support animal on a plane as a comfort animal.
  • Reduced pet fees: An ESA letter can help the holder avoid paying pet fees in housing or airlines.
  • Emotional support: Having an emotional support animal can provide comfort, support, and help alleviate symptoms of emotional or mental health conditions. 

What Are the Laws Governing the ESA Letters?

The laws governing Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letters are determined by the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The FHA prohibits housing providers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires them to make reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, which may include allowing an emotional support animal. 

The ACAA requires airlines to permit emotional support animals to accompany individuals with disabilities on flights. An ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional can be used to verify the individual’s need for their emotional support animal while traveling. 

While the FHA and ACAA protect the rights of individuals with disabilities, they also provide the means for housing providers and airlines to verify the legitimacy of an ESA letter. Additionally, they limit the definition of an emotional support animal to dogs and miniature horses. 

It’s also worth noting that the laws regarding emotional support animals vary by jurisdiction, so it’s always best to check the specific regulations in your area. 

Where Can I Get an ESA Letter? 

An Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter can be obtained from a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or clinical social worker. You can start by contacting your primary care physician or local mental health clinics to see if they offer this service or if they can refer you to someone who does. 

You can also search online for telehealth providers who provide ESA letters. It’s important to note that the letter must be written on the professional’s letterhead. The letter must state that you have a mental health-related disability and that the animal provides emotional support to alleviate one or more symptoms of your disability. 

What Is the Process of Getting an Online ESA Letter? 

Getting an online ESA letter is a simple and convenient process. It starts with consulting a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) who can assess your mental health and determine if you qualify for an ESA. 

After completing an online questionnaire or virtual consultation, if you are approved, you will receive an ESA letter that verifies your need for an emotional support animal and certifies that you are under the care of a mental health professional. You can then present this letter to your landlord or airline representative. 

The exact steps may vary depending on your online service, but the process remains the same. 

What Rights Does the ESA Letter Give You Under the Fair Housing Act? 

With an ESA letter under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord cannot deny a tenant housing because they have a support animal.

Landlords are required under the FHA to provide renters with appropriate accommodations. These rights are provided to ESA owners under “reasonable accommodation” as follows: 

  • Even if an apartment building forbids pets, you have the right to keep your ESA(s) at home.
  • Pets are not subject to weight or breed limits imposed by a housing complex.
  • Pet-related costs, including extra rent or cleaning deposits, are exempt.

What are The Exceptions of the ESA Letter Under the FHA?

The FHA applies to the majority of housing types. Only a few exceptions can be made, and these have to do with the kind of house. These home conditions, per the HUD, are exempt from the FHA:

  • Owner-occupied structures with a maximum of four apartments
  • Housing managed by private groups and religious institutions with a member-only restriction
  • Single-family homes that are offered or rented directly by the owner without the aid of a broker 

In What Situations Can Your Landlord Successfully Find Your ESA Letter Inapplicable? 

In some circumstances, a landlord or housing provider can successfully argue against providing housing accommodations for both the owner and an ESA.

These exclusions relate to property damage or safety risks. If a property provider can demonstrate that allowing an emotional support animal would place an “undue monetary and administrative hardship,” they may be entitled to avoid doing so.

Additionally, they could refuse pet ownership if it poses a direct risk to the health and safety of their fellow residents or causes considerable property damage. 

Are ESAs the Same as Service Animals?

No, ESAs are not the same as service animals. However, they both fall under the emotional support animal laws. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t be confused with your traditional pets. This is because an emotional support dog has a specific role while a pet doesn’t.

What Are Your Rights Under the Air Carrier Access Act? 

The ACAA does not grant ESA owners any special rights as of January 2021. As a result of the 2021 amendment to the original statute, an emotional support animal is now recognized by airlines as a pet rather than a service animal, enabling them to be barred from the cabin and subject to additional fines (either in the cabin or in the cargo area).

This regulation initially mandated that airlines permit passengers with mental or psychological problems to travel with their emotional support animals in the cabin without being charged an additional cost. Early in 2021, the ACAA law changed to exclude emotional support animals.

The ACAA doesn’t prohibit air carriers from making accommodations for emotional support animals. A few airlines decided to keep their ESA programs even after the updates to the ACAA, excluding emotional support animals. If you wish to fly with your ESA pet, you must check out the various airlines that will let you do so, either for free or for a small fee.

Also, since the new law doesn’t forbid airlines from taking care of your ESA pet, some airlines will take the initiative to be helpful where possible. You’re basically under the discretion of the airline. 

Does an ESA Letter Expire?

Technically, no, an ESA letter does not expire. The HUD guidelines state that an official ESA letter doesn’t expire; however, this depends on your state’s housing legalities. For instance, in some states, a signed ESA letter may need renewal if you move within a year. So, it’s advisable to acquire the latest ESA letter online if you’re moving to a new house. Check with your state on the specific legalities.

ESA Pet Staff