Do I need an Emotional Support Animal Letter?
Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are animals that provide companionship and comfort to individuals with emotional or psychological disabilities. They do not require specific training, and their presence is meant to provide emotional support to the individual. ESA’s are different from service animals, which are specifically trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities. In the United States, ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act, which allows them to live with their owner in housing that does not typically allow pets and to fly with their owner in the cabin of an airplane without additional fees. However, it is important to note that individual airlines and landlords may have their own policies regarding emotional support animals.
An emotional support animal letter is a document written by a mental health professional, such as a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, that states that an individual has a mental or emotional disability and that the presence of an emotional support animal is necessary for the individual’s well-being. This letter is typically required by landlords and airlines to verify that an individual has a legitimate need for an emotional support animal.
The letter should include:
- The mental health professional’s name, address, telephone number, and professional license number.
- The date of the evaluation
- The diagnosis of the individual’s mental or emotional disability.
- A statement that the emotional support animal is necessary for the individual’s treatment or to alleviate symptoms of the disability.
- The signature of the mental health professional.
It’s important to note that it is illegal to make a false claim of having a disability in order to obtain a letter for an emotional support animal. Also, Emotional Support Animal letters must be less than 1 year old, and the professional providing the letter must be licensed in the state where you reside.
Caliper conducts assessments to determine if you qualify for an emotional support animal. If we believe you meet the criteria, we provide emotional support animal letters for landlords and airlines.