Are Online ESA Letters Legitimate?

Emotional Support Animal Are Online ESA Letters Legitimate?

Are Online ESA Letters Legitimate?

If you benefit from the services of an Emotional Support Animal(ESA), then you probably already know how important it is to have an ESA Letter. This document verifies that your companion is more than just a pet and can legally open doors for you.

Recently, the demand for ESA letters has resulted in a number of online companies offering to provide them. But you may wonder: are online ESA letters legit? Like many services offered online, some of the ones you can find meet all the requirements, while others aren't worth the paper they're printed on. We have the information you need to know the difference and how DoNotPay can help you with all things ESA.

What Is an ESA Letter and Why Do You Need One?

ESAs differ from service animals in a few important ways, and one of them is that you may be asked to prove that your pet is an ESA. The only legal proof that your companion is an ESA is with an official ESA letterTo be an official letter, it must meet certain requirements.

  1. It must be written by a physician or licensed mental health professional
  2. Must include their license number and expiration date
  3. Must have the date the letter was issued
  4. Include the doctor or mental health professional's contact information for verification

Because airlines have had some problems with ESAs on flights, the Department of Transportation has eliminated the rule requiring that airlines allow ESAs in the cabin on flights. Some airlines still permit them, and it may improve your chances to have the following information in your ESA letter for an airline:

  1. A letter that was written not more than one year before the flight.
  2. An indication that the passenger has a diagnosed mental or emotional illness.
  3. Explanation about why the animal is needed for air travel or at the destination.
Any of the following licensed healthcare specialists can write up an ESA letter:
  • Clinical social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Registered nurse (RN)
  • Certified counselor
  • Doctor's assistant
  • licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Psychiatrist
Some of the common mental conditions that qualify individuals to receive an ESA letter:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic stress
  • Learning disabilities
  • Attention deficit disorder

Can You Get an ESA Letter Online?

As mentioned before, there are many online companies that promise to deliver an ESA letter for a fee. Not all ESA letters you can find online are legal. They must meet the above requirements, but it can be hard to tell if you're dealing with a trustworthy company before you have the document in hand.

If you're going to work with an online company, here are some things to look out for that suggest they may be a little shady:

  • They promise instant approval. A trustworthy company will have a doctor or mental health professional review your information to determine if an ESA is right for you. Instant approval means that no one has evaluated your needs.
  • Money-back guarantee. In the same vein, if the company promises to return your money if they can't get you a letter, it's a sure sign that they're not interested in the actual requirements.
  • They claim that they can add your ESA to a registry to boost its official status. The only way to verify that an animal is an ESA is with an ESA letter. "Registration" is a useless measure.
  • They offer an ID card or vest to identify your ESA. These are meaningless.

Having Trouble Finding a Trustworthy Online ESA Letter Service?

The last thing you want is to get an ESA letter online and have it rejected because it doesn't meet legal standards. But digging through all the options can take a long time. If you're not sure who to pick, DoNotPay has created our Service and Emotional Support Animals product to help you to navigate this and many other ESA questions.

With just a few clicks, we can take care of tasks like contacting your landlord about accommodating your ESA, inquiring about airlines' options for ESAs, and helping you find the right online ESA letter provider.

Here's how you can get DoNotPay on the job:

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.

     

  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.

     

  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.

     

We will take it from there. DoNotPay makes it our business to know all the laws, such as how the Fair Housing Act applies to ESAs. We can help you with things like information about an ESA dog, request accommodation from United Airlines, American Airlines, or Southwest. We can even provide a sample ESA letter to help you recognize what it is supposed to look like. And if you still need help defending your rights, our Sue Now product can help you write a demand letter, file in small claims court, or produce a court script to take a landlord to court.

DoNotPay Is Here for Your Pets

Helping you get the legal protection you're entitled to for your ESA isn't all we can do. DoNotPay offers many ways to help pet owners with legal problems, such as

But our expertise extends far beyond supporting you and your pets.

DoNotPay Helps You Put Problems to Bed

DoNotPay was created to help people deal with issues that are difficult or frustrating. We know how to approach problems, freeing you from the work of figuring out how to get what you deserve. For example, we have the expertise to take care of these challenges and much more:

We're on your team to help you fight back against nameless corporations and organizations, and we make it easy. Check us out, and see the many ways we can make your life easier.

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