What is an ESA letter?

emotional support animals kids 2 - Updated Washington

An Emotional Support Animal Letter is an official document signed and approved by a licensed mental health professional (LMPH) that includes the LMHP’s license number, type, signature, date of issue, your name, and any other information the LMHP deems important.

The ESA letter certifies that an animal is needed for emotional support as part of an individual’s mental health treatment plan; the ESA letter may describe the specific animal/breed you have chosen as a pet, even if it is not needed.

In some states, you may be able to find laws pertaining to mental health professionals certifying letters of mental support. In such cases, the LMHP should be the GP, psychiatrist, physician, or mental health professional who is currently treating you for your illness.

What are the benefits of an Emotional Support Letter?

A legal emotional support letter protects you and your emotional support animal from any regulations that prevent you from accompanying or living together. These are as follows

Airline regulations that prohibit pets from being carried in the cabin of commercial aircraft

Federal laws and housing regulations that prohibit the keeping of pets in rental housing

Laws that require you to pay more if your pet travels by plane or lives in rental housing

Obtaining a valid ESA letter will exempt you from these regulations under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACCA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Who can get an ESA letter?

To be legally eligible Letter for Emotional Support Animal, you must have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. The disability must be serious enough to be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The following are mental health conditions that may qualify




Depressive disorder

Phobia of the square or other phobias

Extremely high (above average) socially induced stress

Bipolar disorder

Grief from bereavement

Other lesser-known mental/emotional disorders

You may need to treat any of these disorders with medication, therapy, or counseling. Your therapist must be able to verify that you are a qualified emotional support animal. They need to be able to confirm that the animal will alleviate the symptoms of the disorder.

When choosing an online resource, make sure that you choose a reputable site. Just be aware that there are many sites out there that will try to trick you and take advantage of your weaknesses; attempting to tamper with an ESA letter can result in hefty fines or even imprisonment, so research your online sources carefully.

Most sites will ask you to pay a fee to complete a questionnaire, and based on your responses, they will connect you with a mental health professional licensed in your state. If you do, you will receive your ESA letter within a few days. If you do, you should receive your letter within a few days.

What are the laws that protect people with ESAs?

Some people may be sympathetic to your ESA needs and be willing to work with you to support your mental health needs. However, you may have to deal with others who are less understanding.

For this reason, it is a good idea to know how your ESA is protected by law. The following are the laws that protect people with ESAs.


ESAs have many benefits because they make people aware of their pets as an important resource in their treatment plan; ESA letters are useful for emotional support, such as finding a home or traveling with a pet.

You can find out if you qualify for an ESA letter in the traditional way, or you can use the online resources mentioned in this article. However you choose to do it, an ESA letter will reduce stress for you and your beloved pet and protect your rights.

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