With an ESA letter, your animal companion can officially qualify as an emotional support animal (ESA). ESA owners have special rights when it comes to housing and air travel. Under federal law, the only legitimate way to have an ESA is to obtain a recommendation letter (known as an ESA letter) from a licensed health care professional. Despite what you may have read and heard, you cannot qualify an ESA with registration, license, vest or ID card. ESA Doctors is a technology company that advocates for emotional support animal owners and helps connect clients to real licensed health care professionals. We are proud of our mission to help people suffering from mental and emotional issues, especially those that are having trouble finding a therapist in person or have limited financial means.

Did You Know?

ESAs can live in no-pet buildings
Landlords, Co-Ops and HOAs can’t charge fees and deposits for ESAs
Breed and weight restrictions are not allowed for ESAs
ESAs can fly in the airplane cabin, free of charge
Only licensed health care professionals can issue ESA letters
Common conditions ESAs help with are depression, anxiety, phobias, and PTSD

Here’s how it works

START THE QUESTIONNAIRE

After clicking the “Get Started” button you will fill out an online questionnaire. Your responses will be provided to a licensed mental health professional who will help determine whether an ESA is right for you.

Your answers to the questionnaire will be kept confidential.

MAKE A SECURE PAYMENT

After completing the questionnaire you will submit payment information via our secure and encrypted payment page.

Rest assured, your card information is kept safe and if you are not issued an ESA letter for any reason, you will receive a prompt refund so you can find help in other ways. To avoid conflicts of interest, your therapist’s compensation is not tied to whether or not you qualify for an ESA Letter.

CONNECT WITH THE LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

A licensed mental health professional will send you their standard consent form so they can begin working with you to see if you qualify for an emotional support animal.

We are proud to work with LMHPs who are compassionate towards their clients and use their independent judgment.

USE YOUR ESA LETTER

If your licensed professional determines that you qualify for an ESA letter you will receive a digital copy of your ESA letter within 1-3 business days of getting approved.

You can then submit your ESA letter to your landlord, Co-Op, HOA or airline for the accommodation of your ESA. If you run into any issues or have questions, our support team will assist you.

Here are some common questions clients have about obtaining an ESA Letter

What will the ESA letter contain? Will it reveal details about my condition?

The ESA letter will establish that you have a mental or emotional disability for purposes of the Fair Housing Act or Air Carrier Access Act and that an ESA would alleviate symptoms of that disability. Details about the diagnosis or severity of disability do not need to be disclosed. The landlord or airline also cannot request medical records or a medical examination. The letter will be on your professional’s letterhead and be signed and dated. The letter will also contain your professional’s licensing and contact information so your landlord or airline can verify their credentials.

I have an ESA letter, do I need a certificate, license, ID card or vest for my ESA?

No, you do not need to register your ESA! An ESA letter is all you need to qualify an emotional support animal and the only acceptable documentation to prove your animal companion is an ESA.

Can I use my ESA letter to take my ESA to the grocery store, restaurant or hotel?

No, an ESA letter only grants you rights in housing and on flights. It does not permit ESA owners to have access in public areas where animals are prohibited. Hotels are not obligated to accommodate ESAs, but some will do so anyway if presented with an ESA letter. It is best to check to see what your hotel’s policy is regarding ESAs.

What will the ESA letter contain? Will it reveal details about my condition?

The ESA letter will establish that you have a mental or emotional disability for purposes of the Fair Housing Act or Air Carrier Access Act and that an ESA would alleviate symptoms of that disability. Details about the diagnosis or severity of disability do not need to be disclosed. The landlord or airline also cannot request medical records or a medical examination.

Is the person who wrote my ESA letter able to write ESA letters? My landlord says a physician or doctor needs to write the letter, is that true?

An ESA letter must come from a health care provider that is actively licensed for your state. That includes professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrist, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, social workers and licensed counselors. Physicians are also capable of writing ESA letters, but most ESA letters are not from physicians, nor are they required to be. ESA Doctors works with a range of licensed professionals who are familiar with the benefits of ESAs.

Will my ESA letter be as valid as one obtained through a therapist seen in person?

Yes! The U.S. Department of Housing has in fact acknowledged that licensed professionals who work remotely, including online, can provide legitimate ESA services. Remote therapists are an invaluable resource for individuals that have a difficult time finding a therapist in person, have limited financial means, have scheduling difficulties due to school, work or family obligations or have phobias or anxieties about seeking help in person.

When does an ESA letter expire?

An ESA letter for air travel expires in one year and must be renewed. ESA letters for housing technically do not expire, but some landlords will insist on a more recently dated letter if the ESA letter they are given is very old.

Do I need an ESA letter before or after adopting my emotional support animal?

You can adopt an ESA before or after obtaining your ESA letter. Your ESA can also be your existing animal companion. The ESA letter will make a recommendation for the number and of type of ESA (i.e., dog, cat, bird) but not for the specific animal you will use.

Do I need a hardcopy of my letter?

No, we will provide a digital copy of your ESA letter which you can use immediately. You do not need an original or “wet ink” signature on your ESA letter. Your ESA letter will contain your provider’s contact and licensing information which anyone can use to verify their credentials. If you wish to have a hardcopy for any reason, we can accommodate your request.

My airline is requesting additional forms in addition to or in lieu of the ESA letter, can they do that?

Despite guidance from the Department of Transportation that airlines cannot insist passengers complete their own forms, the industry has persisted in this practice. Your provider can complete airline forms and we process these requests for an additional charge under our extra document service.

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