Harbor Happiness for Your Pet: Explore PetHarborHub's Exclusive Collection

How Much Does an ESA Letter Cost? (2022 Price Guide)

Our pets improve our lives no matter what, but if we’re dealing with mental health or emotional issues, they can improve them significantly. There are even emotional support animals1 (ESAs) now to assist with easing anxiety, phobias, and depression—and yes, your pet can be an ESA!

However, to have an emotional support animal recognized by federal law, you have to get what’s known as an emotional animal support letter. But how much does it cost to get an ESA letter?


The Importance of ESA Letters

ESA letters are used in certain situations where pets aren’t normally allowed—primarily for living situations such as apartment complexes or condos. By showing your landlord your ESA letter, by law, your pet is supposed to be allowed to accompany you in living there. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development includes emotional support animals under its definition of assistance animals, which means any pet bans or restrictions a landlord has set forth must be waived for those with ESA letters. Plus, if you have an ESA letter, you don’t have to pay a pet deposit (even if one is in the rental agreement).

These letters used to allow ESAs onto flights, as well, but that’s no longer the case. This changed in 2020 with final revisions to the Air Carrier Access Act—these updates only allow for service animals to be permitted on flights and state that ESAs do not count as such.

How Much Does ESA Letters Cost?

an elderly woman sitting while reading a letter
Image Credit: Kindel Media, Pexels

How much an ESA letter costs depends on a couple of things. ESA letters are required to come from licensed mental health professionals, such as psychologists, counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatrists. If you’re already seeing a licensed mental health professional, you can get your letter from them, which will cost you nothing (other than your co-pay for a doctor’s visit).

But what if you aren’t seeing a licensed mental health professional? In that case, there are online services that will set you up with a professional that can write a letter for you after a telehealth consultation. These services will typically cost $100–$200 for a letter. Some places also offer you the option to get a travel letter as well as a housing letter or a combination of the two, but since ESAs are no longer covered under the Air Carrier Access Act, it’s best to simply get the ESA letter for housing only. There are many online, though, so be wary.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

There really shouldn’t be any additional costs to getting your ESA letter other than the $100–$200. Some companies might have a cancellation fee if you set up a telehealth conference with a licensed mental health professional, then end up canceling it. That could run you $30–$50. But that should be it.

But some online ESA letter services will try to tempt you with extra items, such as emotional support animal registration (which isn’t a thing) or ESA collars and vests, etc., but none of these things are necessary to have and make no difference in whether your pet is considered an ESA. Only an ESA letter can do that. Most of these extras are superfluous and only there to milk more money from you. So, be sure to avoid these!


Who Can Get an ESA Letter?

emotional support dog sad girl
image Credit: Anagarcia, Shutterstock

Anyone with mental or emotional health issues can qualify for an ESA letter. Those with anxiety, depression, or PTSD often do well with the support of an emotional support animal. But there are more conditions that can qualify, including:

  • ADHD
  • Learning Disorders
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • OCD
  • Sleep problems
  • Self-harm
  • Chronic stress

Of course, this isn’t the extent of mental illnesses or disorders that might require an ESA, just a handful. And to get an ESA letter, you’ll need a licensed mental health professional to state in the ESA letter that you are dealing with the said issue (hence why you must have a telehealth conference if you’re going the online route to get your letter—you cannot be diagnosed without speaking with someone).

Does Insurance Cover ESA Letters?

If you’re obtaining an ESA letter from your own licensed mental health professional, it could be technically covered by your insurance (depending on whether your coverage includes mental health), as the cost would only be what you pay for a doctor’s visit. But if you’re getting your letter through a service online, insurance won’t cover the telehealth consultation. If you want health insurance to cover you for this, you’ll need to go see a licensed mental health professional in person (though they may require several visits before they’ll write a letter). And insurance won’t cover anything related to the cost of having an emotional support animal.

How Do I Know That an Online ESA Letter Service Is Legit?

Woman on computer doing research
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

There are red flags to be cautious of when searching online for an ESA letter service. If you see any of these, then that service is a scam, and you should find another. These red flags are:

  • Using the term “certify”
  • Too good to be true prices
  • Saying they offer ESA registration
  • The licensed mental health professional you’re set up with isn’t in your state or doesn’t have an applicable license
  • Instant turnaround times
  • No customer service
  • No live consultation with a licensed mental health professional

We also recommend checking out a service’s rating and complaints at the Better Business Bureau and reading reviews from others who have gotten ESA letters online.

divider-dog paw


Having an emotional support animal can change or save your life if you’re living with mental health or emotional issues. But to get one recognized under federal law, you’ll need to acquire an ESA letter. These letters must come from licensed mental health professionals. If you’re already seeing one of those, you can get the letter from them, but if you aren’t, you’ll likely want to use an online ESA letter service. These services will hook you up with a licensed mental health professional in your state who will do a telehealth consult with you to determine if you are eligible for a letter. These online services only cost between $100–$200; just ensure you aren’t getting scammed!

Featured Image Credit: jackmac34, Pixabay

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart