We'll cover everything you need to know and questions you need to familiarize yourself with to see if you qualify for a psychiatric service animal. We've also good a PSD quiz which can help you figure out if you qualify for a PSD.
Emotional Support Animals

Do I Qualify For A Psychiatric Service Animal Quiz

Doug Reffue - CEO & Founder of Pettable
November 23, 2021

Do I Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal? (Quiz)

Maybe people are interested to know whether or not they are eligible for a Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA). Maybe you’re wondering this yourself. 

In addition, you might like to know if you’ll be able to receive a Psychiatric Service Animal letter to legitimize your companion for landlords, airlines, and other organizations – so your PSA can accompany you without any trouble. 

You’ve come to the right place – take our quick quiz to find out if you might qualify. 

Read on for more information on Psychiatric Service Animals and PSA letters.

Woman with esa dog in the park

Can I Take a Quiz to See If I Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal?

By taking our PSA qualification quiz, you’ll get a better idea of your eligibility for a psychiatric service animal. Following this, Pettable will work with you to complete the next steps to pursue getting an actual PSA letter. 

It’s important to remember that, for a PSA letter to be legally enforceable, you must complete a live consultation with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) – in person, or via phone or video call. During this consultation, you can explain your situation so the LMHP can have the details they need to write a legal and legitimate PSA letter for you. 

(Some PSA services will claim to give you a PSA letter after you complete a questionnaire or quiz, without a consultation with an LMHP. Beware of these – remember, your letter is only legal and legitimate when written by an LMHP, after a live consultation with them.)

If a PSA letter may be helpful to you for housing, travel, or other purposes, our quick quiz can get you started. 

Who Qualifies for a Psychiatric Service Animal?

1 in 5 Americans experiences mental health illnesses, disorders, or illnesses. A Psychiatric Service Animal can be instrumental in helping people manage such mental health challenges. Several mental health issues can qualify a person for a psychiatric service animal. 

What Mental and Emotional Disorders Benefit From a PSA?

Remember, to receive a PSA letter, you must be evaluated by a mental health professional and certified as having a recognized emotional or mental disability, and thus may be benefitted by having a psychiatric service animal. 

Many mental and emotional health issues may exist that qualify a person for a PSA letter. Some common ones include: 

  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • OCD
  • Panic Attacks
  • Personality Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Schizophrenia

You may be able to get a more complete list of these qualifying disorders from a mental health professional. Consult with one if you feel you have a condition that could benefit from having a psychiatric service animal. 

How is a Pet Helpful For Mental Health?

Plenty of research has established the fact that a dog, cat, or other animal can have therapeutic effects on its owners. Those with mental health illnesses can significantly benefit from the companionship of a psychiatric service animal. In fact, a pet or emotional support animal can improve an owner’s quality of life and even increase their lifespan.

Woman with esa dog on sofa

Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets Help You Get Outside

One of the ways emotional support animals support their owners’ health and wellbeing is by helping people stay active. Caring for a pet keeps you busy and can help you get exercise and fresh air while walking a dog, taking a cat in for a check up, or running to the pet store for some treats. The combination of getting out in the world and getting regular exercise can have a big impact on many mental health issues.

Psychiatric Service Animals Help You Socialize

Having a PSA companion can also help people socialize more and create a broader support circle. There are many more people with PSAs than you might expect. When you discover other people who are helped by having an PSA, it can be much easier to connect with them and to talk about the good things your PSA does for you, too.

That can create opportunities to help other people living with a disability or to reach out to others who deal with anxiety or depression. For many people, being of service to others is a great way to feel part of a larger community and also help themselves feel better.

Psychiatric Service Animals Can Help Quiet the Mind

Caring for and thinking about the well-being of an PSA is often a real help for people dealing with emotional and mental wellness challenges.

Many folks who live with an emotional support dog, cat, or other pet find that having a companion helps them focus outside themselves. That makes it easier to avoid rumination (overthinking) and calm social or other anxieties that are often part of conditions ESAs can help people deal with.

Psychiatric Service Animals Give Unconditional Love

Another thing that frequently helps with a mental disability or emotional disorder is knowing you have a source of unconditional love and support. Often, PSA owners report that the love they get from their animal is some of the most effective treatment they’ve found for the emotional and other health issues they struggle with. For many people, getting an ESA letter that lets them live or travel with a loving companion is critical to improving their overall well-being.

Man hugging esa dog

Who Decides if I Qualify for A Psychiatric Service Animal?

PSA rules and regulations state that only a licensed mental health professional can determine your eligibility for a psychiatric service animal. They have insights and knowledge to help them in this decision to know whether such a service animal would benefit you. 

The mental health professionals authorized to write a PSA letter for travel or housing include the following: 

  • Psychiatrists
  • Behavioral Therapists
  • Cognitive Behavioral therapists
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Therapists
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists (Note: not all psychologists can write one)
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Doctors qualified to conduct mental health assessments

If you’re seeking out a PSA letter, remember to confirm that the professional evaluating you for one is licensed to make this decision and write you a legally recognized PSA letter. 

How Do I Find Out if I Actually Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal?

To discover whether or not you qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal, seek out a consultation with a licensed mental health professional, either in person or via phone or video call. During this discussion, you’ll explain the symptoms you’re experiencing and their impact on your life. The LMPH will evaluate your symptoms and condition to determine if you qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal. If you do, they can write you a PSA letter. This is the only document that legally classifies a pet as a psychiatric service animal. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Pettable Work with Me to Get a PSA?

Pettable’s PSA letter process is as smooth as possible for our users. We’ve worked hard to design a thorough yet simple process. When you work with us, you won’t have to worry about going in person to a medical clinic to be approved for a psychiatric service animal. 

Our clinicians have extensive experience writing PSA letters, as well as consulting clients on a variety of issues that may arise regarding PSA letters. They are there to support you in whatever problems you may face. 

Complete Our Assessment

Your first step in our process is to complete our online PSA assessment (click below to begin).

With the information in this quiz, we’ll be able to match you to the right professional for you and your situation. 

Select a PSA Letter

Your next step is to inform us of the type of PSA letter you’ll need – whether that’s a housing letter, travel letter, or a combination of the two. 

Fill Out HIPAA and Telehealth Forms

Next, we’ll send you some privacy and consent forms that authorize us to connect you with one of our clinicians. Once we have those signed off from you, you’ll be ready to move on.

Schedule Your Consultation

Once we have your approval and consent from those forms, we’ll connect you with the appropriate mental health professional so you can book an appointment. At this appointment, you’ll complete a mental health evaluation, assessing how a PSA will help you specifically with your mental or emotional health challenges. 

Obtain Your PSA Letter Within 24 Hours of Your Appointment

After you’ve completed your consultation and the clinician determines that your emotional support animal(s) are essential to your care and wellbeing, they’ll write a personalized and legally recognized PSA letter for you. With Pettable, you’ll have the option to receive that letter within 24 hours of your consultation. (There is a small fee for booking an express consultation.)

Are There Any Other Fees Associated with Using Pettable?

At checkout, you’ll provide a one-time payment that covers your consultation and your letter certifying 1-2 PSAs. Should you need a letter for additional PSAs, we will evaluate your unique situation and provide this at cost, if needed. Typically each letter certifies up to 2 animals as PSAs. 

What if I Pay for a Consultation, But Don’t Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Animal Through Pettable?

Any legitimate service that offers help to obtain a PSA letter should also provide a refund if you’re not approved for one after consulting with a licensed mental health professional. At Pettable, we go even further. We are so confident in the quality of our service that we guarantee your PSA letter will fit your needs. If it doesn’t, we’ll fix it. If we can’t, we’ll provide you a refund. 

How Do I Begin the Process to Get a Psychiatric Service Animal with Pettable?

It’s quite simple to get started in the process to have your Psychiatric Service Animal legally recognized. Here are the steps:

  • Complete our assessment
  • Book a consult at the end of the quiz
  • Sign privacy and consent forms
  • Schedule the phone appointment with your assigned clinician
  • Receive your PSA letter within 24 hours after your consultation

What Are My Protections Under Federal Law?

The Department of Health and Urban Development (HUD) is responsible for regulating housing-related protections. According to HUD regulations, landlords must accept your PSA letter and accommodate your PSA, as long as your letter is written by a licensed mental health professional who has diagnosed you with a qualifying disability. 

If you tell a landlord you have a legal PSA letter, they can only take the following actions:

  • Ask to see your PSA letter
  • Ask you to confirm that you have a disability (but not ask what the disability is)
  • Ask if your disability is improved by having a psychiatric service animal (but not specifically how)
  • Contact your clinician to verify that they have consulted with you personally to determine your eligibility for a PSA

Do I Need a Letter for a Service Dog?

Most of the time, no. For those who require a service dog to aid in physical disabilities, it’s not common to need a letter from a medical professional. This is mostly due to the fact that the medical condition is usually visible in those situations. 

For those with a service dog for mental or emotional support, however, it’s best to obtain a letter from a mental health professional. You’ll likely be asked for one in the event that your PSA needs to accompany you in a new place of residence, on an airplane, or in another public place. The letter does not have to specify your diagnosis, but it does need to confirm that you have a disability that requires you to be accompanied by a psychiatric service animal. 

Why Work with Pettable to Get Your PSA Letter?

At Pettable, we’re committed to helping you overcome any obstacles from airlines, landlords, and others to keeping a psychiatric service animal or emotional support animal in your life. 

With affordable fees, experienced mental health professionals, and our guarantee of a legitimate and effective PSA letter, you can have peace of mind that you’re getting valuable service working through us for your needs. 

We’re here to help and support you. Get started today by taking our quick quiz.

Meet the author:

Doug Reffue - CEO & Founder of Pettable