For an individual to legally have the emotional support animal, an owner should be considered having qualifying mental health and psychiatric disability by licensed mental health expert (like therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist), that is documented by the properly formatted emotional support animal letter. Qualifying mental health and psychiatric disability will be depression, anxiety, phobias as well as panic attacks.

How Can You Prove You Have Emotional Support Animal?

For proving you have emotional support animal, you might need the signed recommendation letter (called “ESA letter”) from the licensed healthcare expert. You may ask for the ESA letter from following professionals:

  • Counselors
  • Registered Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Doctors
  • Psychiatrists

The ESA letter should come from the actively licensed healthcare expert. Following items don’t legitimately qualify somebody for ESA:

  • ID Cards
  • Registrations
  • Certifications
  • Special Harnesses/Vests

Landlords don’t need to accept the certificate, ID card, registration, and vest as a proof that animal is ESA. The landlords will be entitled to see the signed emotional support animal letter from the validly licensed healthcare expert.

What is A Difference Between Service Animal & Emotional Support Animal?

esa letter

Let’s discuss service animals and emotional support animals.

Service Animals are paired with an individual who has the vision impairment, seizure disorder, anxiety disorder, and hearing impairment. These will include the guide dogs for visually impaired & psychiatric dogs for people who are diagnosed with the seizure disorders. The service animals such as guide dogs are well-trained to perform some specific tasks like guiding the visually impaired person through world safely.

The service dogs will be trained for detecting seizures and panic attacks before it happens and help a person who goes through the episode. Besides a service animal dog is trained individually to help an individual with any kind of disability. This function may or may not be readily apparent. Housing & Urban Development state that if this function of service animal is apparent, “further inquiries are not necessary or inappropriate because animal is the service animal.”  With the valid ESA letter, you can go in the stores, work as well as use the public transportation freely.