Do you need an ESA letter for your emotional support animal in Baltimore?
We can help.
Our licensed therapists can evaluate you for the need for an emotional support animal and write a letter that will be accepted by landlords as required by the Americans with Disabilites Act to accommodate service pets and support animals.
The process is easy and quick: contact us to set up an appointment for an ESA evaluation. We can often get you in within the week – sometimes even the same day. The fee for the evaluation and letter is $240. You will pay this fee at the time of booking, but rest assured that this payment is completely refundable up to 24 hours before the appointment.
The evaluation will take approximately an hour, after which the therapist will render a diagnosis. We will then prepare your ESA letter and send it to you by mail or e-mail, according to your preference, within 3 business days.
That’s all it takes!
What conditions qualify someone for an emotional support animal?
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, residents must have a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” There are no designations as to which specific mental illnesses qualify one for an ESA. Here are some common ones that may apply:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Autism
- Social Phobia
Am I guaranteed to get an ESA letter after the evaluation?
No. We are assessing you for a mental illness that would qualify you for the need for an ESA. If we cannot reasonably diagnose you with such a mental illness, we cannot provide a letter. That is why you must have a licensed mental health clinician evaluate you.
Do I need to register my emotional support animal?
No. There is no such registry and registering the animal is not necessary. However, there may be medical or other forms regarding your animal needed by the organization to which you will be presenting your ESA letter.
Do I need to bring my animal to the appointment?
No. We are not certifying your animal in any way. We are only evaluating your mental health as to whether an ESA is needed. We are not promising anything to anyone about the behavior, training, or safety of your animal.
Can I get an ESA letter from you if I already have a therapist?
If you already have a therapist, they are the best qualified person to determine whether an ESA is something you need. If they don’t believe you need one, it would be unethical for us to overrule them and determine that you do. If they do believe you need one, they are the best person write you the letter (it is equally unethical to refuse to provide a client with care that they need).
That said, many therapists simply won’t write such a letter. If that is your situation, you can have your therapist write a letter explaining what you are in treatment for (and, ideally, stating that they don’t write ESA letters) and we can perform the ESA evaluation.
Will I need anything more than the ESA letter you provide?
Most likely, yes. Please contact your housing unit and ask about any forms you need to complete and the deadlines for doing so. We can fill out any forms related to your mental health, but some places may ask for documentation regarding the health and/or safety of your animal, which we cannot provide.
How much does it cost?
The cost for the evaluation is $120. If you are found to be in need of an ESA, the letter and any other forms you need filled out will cost another $120.
How long will it take?
The evaluation is 1 hour. You will receive the letter within 3 business days.
Can you send a letter directly to a housing complex?
You would need to sign a release of information form for us to do so. With that release we can.
Will the ESA letter allow me to take my animal anywhere?
No. The American Disabilities Act says that housing agencies must make reasonable accommodations for people with mental health needs (an ESA being one of them). Airlines used to have the same requirement but that allowance has been eliminated in recent years. Other venues (restaurants, museums, etc.) have no such requirement.
What if my housing complex doesn’t accept the letter?
You will need to speak to a lawyer to get them to abide by their legal requirements.
Will this ESA letter work in a different state?
It should; we are evaluating your mental health and are licensed to do so in Maryland. Your mental health doesn’t change depending where you are. That said, while we can guarantee that the letter is valid, we cannot guarantee that your housing complex will abide by the law requiring them to accept it.
Note that you must be in Maryland at the time of the evaluation, as we are only licensed to perform evaluations in Maryland, and the licensure requirement goes by where the client is physically sitting.
How long is my ESA letter valid for?
It’s valid for 1 year. Since people change and their mental health changes, we can’t provide a permanent letter. You would need to be reevaluated yearly to see whether your condition still requires the same support.
Do you only write letters for dogs?
No. We will write a letter certifying your need for an emotional support animal; we do not prescribe which animal that has to be. Note, however, that the laws permit landlords to refuse to accommodate “unusual” service animals, such as snakes, spiders, and others. Please consult a lawyer if you think your support animal may fall into this category.
Can I have multiple ESAs?
We have never encountered a situation where a person’s mental health condition required more than one animal. We can attest that you need an animal to function normally, but will probably not be able to certify that you need multiple animals.
Can I get an ESA evaluation online?
In order to qualify for an ESA you must undergo a valid mental health assessment. Text-based questionnaires such as offered by other online options are rarely sufficient to provide a valid diagnosis. In order to provide a reliable assessment, the Baltimore Therapy Center requires you to speak face-to-face with a clinician.
Please note that in order for an ESA letter to be valid, it must be signed by a licensed mental health professional. These licenses operate by state, so you will need to be assessed by someone here in Maryland, or who has a Maryland license.
What if I need more help/therapy?
We can help with that too! Learn more about our counseling services here.
Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Ra
By Chanan Siris
Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot
Raffi made me enjoy going to therapy. I have learned to talk through issues that seemed impossible and I feel so much better about the communication in my relation
By Tyson V.
My boyfriend and I see Raffi and it was the best decision we ever made. It is hard to gather the right words to describe him and how much he has helped us and our
By Summer H.
Caitlin is so special. She is an excellent listener and offers valuable and practical advice for improving life circumstances. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to grow and improve their