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 airlines and landlords, the two entities 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 Transportation in their regulations concerning Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, passengers must have a “mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” 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.
Can I get an ESA letter from you if I already have a therapist?
Probably not. 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 should write you the letter. It is equally unethical to refuse to provide a client with care that they need.
Will I need anything more than the ESA letter you provide?
Most likely, yes. Please contact the relevant airline or 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 and ESA letter together is $240.
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 an airline/housing complex?
You would need to sign a release of information form for us to do so. With that release we can.
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. (According to the federal regulations of the Department of Transportation, the letter “no older than one year from the date of the passenger’s scheduled initial flight.”)
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 airlines and 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 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.
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