Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Emotional Support Animal Are you one of the many suffering anxiety, depression, distress, but are told that there is a “no pets allowed” policy. Is your pet more than just a companion to you, but a needed comfort and vital part of your well-being? If so, Life Works Counseling can help.

You don’t have to be relegated to staying home because the airline won’t allow your pet to accompany you in the cabin during flight. Additionally, airline costs to fly your pet as cargo- though needed by you for comfort, are prohibitive (as well as ill advised for your pet). If you qualify, a licensed psychotherapist at Life Works Counseling specializing in Emotional Support Animal (ESA) requirements, will provide you the required documentation, so your pet may fly with you, without cost.

Some tenants are placed in an agonizing position when either denied housing or who face eviction in a no-pet policy housing dilemma. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any. If you qualify, you have the legal right to be allowed to rent or live in a no-pet condominium with your emotional support animal, even in the face of a “no pets policy”. It is guaranteed under the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1988. Documentation issued by a qualified licensed psychotherapist stating that you meet criteria for an ESA protects your rights to housing and airline travel with your pet(s).

Qualification for ESA Designation

In order to qualify for an ESA designation, and to be issued the requisite paperwork verifying medical necessity, Life Works Counseling provides either an online or, if preferred, an in-person assessment. The fee for the Intake process is $175.00. It includes the assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, personal follow-up and written documentation (certification) that meets all legal requirements for ESA. In the unlikely event that the documentation provided to the airline or housing authority does not satisfy the requirements outlined in the Air Carrier Access Act or the Fair Housing Act requirements, it will be revised without cost.

If you wish to ensure that your pet companion may fly and reside with you, you will need the proper documentation. The procedure to meet legal criteria and conform to best Standard of Care practices is as follows:

Please fill out the online psycho-social assessment and if criteria is met, you will be notified. A follow-up appointment for either a virtual, phone or, if preferred, in-person, brief interview will follow. In the event you do not meet criteria necessary for an ESA, your payment will be refunded. During the interview, your concerns, needs and stressors will be discussed. If it is determined that your pet alleviates distress related to an emotional or psychological condition, you will meet the legal requirements for an ESA. Your ESA documentation will be immediately issued to you. Your certifying letter is valid for one year. Prior to its expiration, a follow-up will be scheduled and updated documentation will be issued at that time.

Annual Re-Certification

Each ESA pet legally requires annual re-certification. The cost of renewing the documentation (certification) is $95. If you have multiple pets, Life Works Counseling will assist you with each certification. Additional pets are certified for $75.

Note: Beware of offers for permanent certification since this is not allowed by law. Each pet must be re-certified annually.

Further information on ESA may be found using the following links:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Francesca Kelly at Life Works Counseling.