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Emotional Support Animal Federal Laws

An emotional support animal commonly referred to as a support animal, or assistance animal is a companion chosen by individuals suffering from different emotional or psychological disorders.

Unlike service animals, an emotional support animal isn’t trained to perform specific tasks or recognize signs, but help alleviate symptoms by providing unconditional love and comfort just by being there.

Emotional Support Animal Laws

There are quite a few laws that govern the use of ESAs, but the two major federal laws are:

  1. The Fair Housing Act
  2. Air Carrier Access Act

Any individual who possesses an ESA letter is protected by these laws. If you are considering getting an ESA letter, then these laws will help you understand what you should expect from landlords and airlines when having your ESA accompany you.

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, under the Federal Housing Authority: Federal nondiscrimination laws provide housing protections for individuals with disabilities. These protections apply in most private housing, state and local government housing, public housing and any other federally-assisted housing programs and activities. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions because of any disability and requires “reasonable accommodation” for Emotional Service Animals. Complete provisions of this federally-mandated legislation are available here.
  • Air Carrier Access Act (49 U.S.C. 41705 and 14 C.F.R 382): Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a service animal is any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disabilities by providing emotional support.

With a valid ESA letter in hand, landlords, property managers, airlines, and public places cannot impose fees, restrictions, or limitations on your or your pet. Besides, ADA has also presented some guidelines for how the disabled people must be treated. According to ADA emotional support animals guidelines, people who are suffering from mental and emotional disabilities must not be discriminated against in any area.

Emotional Support Registration: Real or Not?

Many people fall into the trap of ESA registration, thinking it is a legal requirement to keep their ESA.

To clear this misconception once and for all, know that ESA registration is NOT real.

There are several fraudulent websites present on the internet with the claim that you need to get your animal registered in their database to make it an Emotional Support Animal.

This is a false claim, as mentioned earlier, the only legal requirement for an ESA is an ESA letter that you can obtain from a licensed mental health professional after getting your symptoms assessed.

These are nothing more than tricky ways to get people to pay for something that isn’t real.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Air Carrier Access Act and The Fair Housing Act, all prohibit discrimination against people with physical and emotional disabilities in different walks of life. And if you want to have your ESA accompany you wherever you go then the only piece of document you’ll require is an ESA letter.

However, it is your responsibility to acquire your ESA letter from a legitimate place – getting caught with a fake letter has severe consequences.

If you need your pet to be with you... get your Emotional Support Letter NOW. Here’s how it works:

Fill out this brief Questionnaire.

  1. Make your secure payment on our encrypted portal.
  2. Our support staff will answer any questions and put you in direct contact with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP).
  3. Your LMHP will verify your qualifications for an Emotional Support Animal Certification.
  4. Your ESA documentation will be prepared and sent to you via email or U.S. Postal Service.
  5. Keep your ESA letter in a safe place; it is a powerful tool that guarantees your legal rights.

Most of the animals that the people get as ESAs are cats and dogs while some may be different. RealESALetter.com provides valid ESA letters for traveling via planes and as said by Mr. McCullough on CNN, we have a rigorous screening process and only a LMHP signs the letter.

This does not include the people who want exotic animals as ESAs. Such animals are not allowed on planes and they are also not suitable to be an emotional support animal.

Who Can Qualify for an ESA Letter?

The only legal requirement to keep an emotional support animal is an Emotional Support Animal Letter (ESA Letter).

An ESA letter is a prescription letter written by a Licensed Mental Health Professional. Your family doctor or any other medical doctor isn’t eligible to write an ESA letter; it has to be a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, licensed professional counsellor, or other licensed therapists.

An individual suffering from the following psychological or emotional disabilities can qualify for an ESA.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Phobias and Fears
  • General Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Autism

However, you will need to pass the screening to get the letter. Emotional support animals shouldn’t be confused with a traditional pet since they have a specific purpose and service to provide.

Although an emotional support animal can become a part of its owner’s family, there are specific laws concerning the usage of emotional support animals.

If you identify with the emotional disabilities mentioned in this article, or feel that having an Emotional Support Animal can benefit you then get in contact with our mental health professionals and find out if you qualify for an ESA letter.