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Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letters for Illinois Residents

An ESA letter guarantees your pet will always be welcome in your home
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How to Get an ESA Letter in Illinois Online

Getting an emotional support animal (ESA) letter in Illinois is easier than you think — especially with Pettable. First, take our online ESA assessment quiz to determine your eligibility. Next, we will match you with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) practicing in Illinois, determined in part by your specific mental health disorder. Your LMHP will schedule a virtual evaluation where you can discuss your challenges and needs, and they can diagnose your mental health disorder. Finally, they will issue your official ESA letter, which you’ll receive within 24-48 hours.

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Our fast and simple process:

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3-minute assessment

Answer a few questions about your ESA needs

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Consult with a therapist

We'll match you to a professional in your state

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Get your ESA letter

Receive it within 24 hours of getting approved *

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We'll help with any extra forms you need signed and our therapists are available to talk to your landlord anytime, for an additional fee.

* For California residents, effective January 1, 2022, new law AB 468 requires those seeking an ESA letter for dogs to establish a client-provider relationship with the individual for at least 30 days prior to providing documentation, which will result in having two consultations before qualifying.

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If your ESA Letter is not approved, we will refund 100% of your payment.

Emotional Support Animals in Illinois

The state of Illinois acknowledges the difficulties that can come with mental and emotional disabilities. It also recognizes the significant role an emotional support animal can play in a person's treatment plan for such disabilities. 

Because of this, any Illinois resident with an emotional or mental disability can live anywhere in the state with an emotional support animal, as long as you first obtain an ESA housing letter.

Emotional Support Animal Laws in Illinois

In Illinois, there are no state-specific laws related to ESAs, but thanks to the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), these assistance animals have some serious protections. The FHA prohibits housing companies and landlords from discriminating against disabled Americans when it comes to their housing. Thanks to this law, housing managers are required to allow your ESA to live with you in your rental home or apartment, regardless of any no-pet rules. They are also forbidden from charging any pet fees, deposits, or extra rent due to your ESA, so wherever you may live in the Prairie State — or anywhere else in the U.S.

However, other federal laws regarding assistance animals, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), do not apply to ESAs. Because they are not considered service animals, they are not normally allowed in public spaces and accommodations, and they aren’t guaranteed special privilege during air travel. Only service animals are covered by these laws, in Illinois and beyond.

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Emotional Support Animal Certification in Illinois

When it comes to owning an emotional support animal (ESA) in Illinois, it can be confusing to determine whether you need some sort of certification. What you need is a specialized document called an ESA letter. Whether you live in Chicago or downstate, this is the only documentation you need to guarantee your housing rights. If a company tries to sell you a “certificate” or “registration” instead of an ESA letter, you’re being sold an illegitimate product that does not affirm your FHA rights.

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ESA Registration In Illinois Is Not Required

Another fraudulent product running rampant online is “ESA registration.” This would be paying for a company or organization to put you and your assistance animal’s information and store it in a database. In Illinois, and the U.S., in general, ESA registration is not required and has no bearing on your animal’s status. There are no federal or state registries for ESAs or service animals, and there’s no law demanding that you register your critter anywhere. In fact, if all you have is your ESA in a registry without having an ESA letter, your animal is merely a pet.

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Who Qualifies for an ESA in Illinois?

If you’re a resident of Illinois and you’re struggling with mental health challenges, you probably qualify for an ESA. This type of assistance animal classification is available to anyone living with a mental health disorder or emotional struggles. Qualifying conditions include: 

  • Mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Substance use disorders
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Motor skill disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
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Advantages of an Emotional Support Animal for Illinois Residents

Waive Additional Housing Costs

Owning an ESA in Illinois comes with significant housing benefits, including relief from additional pet rent, deposits, or fees due to the protective measures provided by an ESA certification. This allows you and your pet to reside in many housing situations without extra charges, even in buildings that typically enforce a no-pets policy, ensuring your support animal can stay with you without posing financial burdens or restrictions, given they are not a threat to the property or other residents.

Encourage A Positive Daily Structure

Having an ESA naturally involves caretaking activities that can help foster a structured daily routine. Engaging in regular activities such as walking your dog, interacting with your cat, or caring for your bird encourages physical activity and mental engagement, steering your focus away from daily stressors towards fulfilling responsibilities.

Boost Mental and Emotional Well-being

The responsibility of looking after an ESA can significantly bolster your mental and emotional health. The companionship of an assistance animal can mitigate feelings of isolation, offer comforting physical contact, and enhance your self-esteem and emotional resilience.

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How to Get a Psychiatric Service Dog in Illinois

If you think you need more than just emotional support, consider adding a psychiatric service dog to your life, and benefit from all the federal protections that come with it. To get started, take Pettable’s online PSD training plan quiz and let us guide your way. If you already have a canine companion, we’ll help you train them to perform tasks directly related to your mental health disorder. Together, you and your PSD can have a more enjoyable life together.

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Why Pettable?

Pettable has a network of experienced mental health specialists that can aid you in every state. They can provide an ESA letter that is recognized both in-state and out-of-state. Whether it be by answering questions from a landlord or travel organization that may require additional documentation, your Pettable mental health specialist will be on your side.

1. We Guarantee Our Letters Will Work For You
We believe you should not have to worry about your letter working or not. That's why at Pettable we offer a satisfaction guarantee - meaning your letter works or you get your money back.

2. World Class Mental Health Professionals
We have built a team of world-class mental health professionals who can write you an ESA Letter guaranteed to work anywhere you go.

3. Unparalleled Customer Support
We know getting your animal approved to travel or live with you can be stressful, which is why we invest so much in our team of dedicated support specialists to make sure you are always taken care of and have the support you need!

4. Licensed in all 50 states
Our network of mental health professionals is deep and spans across the entire country. Additionally, we have a deep team of mental health professionals to make sure we can meet any timeline.

5. Human Connection & Legitimate Evaluations
For your letter to work, you need to have a live consultation with a mental health professional. At Pettable we make sure our clinicians adhere to HUD standards and conduct consultations over the phone to get to know you and your mental health situation well.

Why Pettable?


1. We Guarantee Our Letters Will Work For You
We believe you should not have to worry about your letter working or not. That's why at Pettable we offer a satisfaction guarantee - meaning your letter works or you get your money back.

2. World Class Mental Health Professionals
We have built a team of world class mental health professionals who can write you a PSD Letter prescription guaranteed to work anywhere you go.

3. Unparalleled Customer Support
We know getting your animal approved to travel or live with you can be stressful, which is why we invest so much in our team of dedicated support specialists to make sure you are always taken care of and have the support you need!

4. Licensed in all 50 states
Our network of mental health professionals is deep and spans across the entire country. Additionally, we have a deep team of mental health professionals to make sure we can meet any timeline.

5. Best In Class Legal Support
We are here to make sure your housing and travel needs are taken care of so you don't worry. Our legal team is dedicated to having your back should you need it!

6. Human Connection & Legitimate Evaluations
In order for your letter to work you need to have a live consultation with a mental health professional. At Pettable we make sure our clinicians adhered to HUD standards and conduct consultations over the phone to get to know you and your mental health situation well.

Why Pettable is the Best Online ESA Provider in Illinois

Pettable offers more security and transparency than any other online ESA letter-writing service out there. We surveyed the top online ESA sites, the services they provide, and objective reviews from 3rd party sites – the chart below shows our findings. 

The things that set us apart? We provide a satisfaction guarantee for your ESA letter. We always have live consultations between the LMHP and the client. We maintain transparency about our processes. Don't believe us? Just check out the ratings and reviews from real customers who recommend our service. 

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Reviews

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Verified Reviews: 4.8/5
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Trust Pilot: 4.7/5
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Facebook: 4.6/5
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What our pet parents are saying

Verified customers. Real reviews.
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I had an incredible experience with Pettable. I had just moved and was looking for a new therapist, but knew an ESA would really help me with the transition, so I came to Pettable to get documentation so I didn’t have to wait months to get approval from my landlord to bring a pet home. The process was straightforward, timely, and made me feel so valid in my journey. Now I am raising a puppy and never been happier and healthier! I can’t recommend Pettable enough! 
“The process was straightforward, timely, and made me feel so valid in my journey.
Maddee W. Dog parent
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5.0
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My pup provides relief in stressful situations, particularly when I'm away on necessary travel. Pettable was an amazing resource, connecting me with a therapist who listened to my situation and provided advice above and beyond. I could hear Rhiana's compassion over our call and appreciated her patience. Grateful for this service!"
“I could hear Rhiana's compassion over our call and appreciated her patience.
Austin K. Dog parent
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5.0
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You were very attentive and I’m very satisfied with the provider I was assigned with, thank you again for helping relieve the stress of not being able to take my furry baby to our new home."
“Thank you again for helping relieve the stress.
Lauren M. Cat parent
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5.0
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Meet Our Top Licensed Clinicians

Jennifer Bronsnick

MSW, LCSW

Jennifer Bronsnick is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anxiety Treatment Specialist, & Heartmath Certified Trainer. She provides customized workshops and trainings to working professionals and teams to help build resilience and reduce stress with practical strategies.

Book your consultation
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Emilie Kay

MSW, LCSW

I graduated with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before obtaining my Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in 2021. I have eight years of experience in the mental health field working in and with various populations, including case management, intake coordination, and residential, inpatient, and outpatient programs. I am certified in Brainspotting to help individuals deeply process negative emotions and trauma/significant life events. Additionally, I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and safety planning in sessions/groups.

Book your consultation
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Kassie Claughton

LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I offer extensive experience supporting individuals in both outpatient and residential settings in the fields of social work and mental health. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor-II, Substance Abuse Professional, Certified First Responder Counselor, and Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider.

Book your consultation
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Marvy Beckman

LCSW

As a clinical social worker, I have been able to work within multiple types of settings, such as hospitals, community centers, and family welfare. I enjoy having the clinical and administrative experience to holistically serve those I work with.

Book your consultation
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Frequently Asked Questions

Emotional Support Animal Overview
What would count as an emotional support animal?
How do I know if I qualify for an Emotional Support Animal?
What does the ESA process look like at Pettable?
How do I know my letter will work?
Can you confirm that this is legal?
What makes your ESA Letters legitimate?
What happens if my landlord wants to validate that my letter is legitimate?
How long does the process take from start to finish and how quickly will I get my ESA letter?
If I qualify, how would I go about getting an emotional support animal?
Are there benefits to having an Emotional Support Animal?
What is on your ESA letter?
I'm not familiar with the Fair Housing Act – what is it?
Do I need to renew my ESA letter?
How do your consultations work?
To get an ESA Letter, do I have to talk with a mental health professional?
Would an existing pet qualify as an Emotional Support Animal?
Can I qualify multiple pets with the same ESA letter?
My landlord says I can't keep my pet despite having a legitimate ESA letter. What do I do?
What does an ESA Letter let me do?
How does the Money Back Guarantee work?
Are there scams out there I need to be aware of?

Life feels so much better with an emotional support animal.

At Pettable, we understand at a personal level the positive impact an animal can have on your life.

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