Emotional Support Animal ADA

The emotional support animal ADA is often a bit of a gray area among the general population, and they are usually unsure about the specific laws and classifications in regards to ESA’s. Emotional support animals are a very effective form of therapeutic treatment for emotionally disabled people, and they’re becoming more popular too. Just their presence can significantly improve someone’s quality of life and relieve the symptoms of their condition. Unfortunately, some people who get an ESA’s registered aren’t educated on the classifications and laws surrounding them, and sometimes they can get into a bit of trouble. This is why it’s so important to know exactly what your rights are and what you can and can’t do with your loved one.

What Does The Emotional Support ADA Mean?

This is in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the usage of service animals. There are strict guidelines in place as to what defines a service animal and what they can and can’t do. Some states even have definitions of this so it can get very confusing, but we will outline the basic principles down below.

The Difference Between A Support Animal and an ESA

The main confusion among people lies with the difference between these two types of animals. There is a clear distinction between them and many people who first get ESA’s think that they are the same. It’s important that you know the difference so let’s take a look at the key points to remember.

Service Animal

This animal is recognized by the ADA and has received specialized training to perform a specific task for their owner. This task may include turning on or off light switches or pushing a wheelchair. The task is also directly related to their owner’s disability which otherwise prohibits or severely limits them from performing it so the presence of the animal is considered to be essential to the owner’s ability to live.


An emotional support animal doesn’t require any form of training, and it’s their purpose to provide companionship to their owner. Because of this, they’re not recognized by the ADA and have different rights as a result. An animal vest can be bought for your ESA with ‘support’ on it so it is not mistaken for a service animal.

So What Are The Different Rights?

A service animal has the right to live in a rental property or board an aircraft with their owner without a letter of approval required to do so. They are also allowed in public facilities such as government buildings, medical centers, and any place where people are allowed to go.
An ESA requires a letter of approval for rental properties and air travel which must be issued by a mental health professional provided they have the correct certificate. They’re also prohibited from the public areas mentioned above as they are not considered to be performing a service.
People with disabilities cannot be required to pay additional surcharges because of their animals, and this is highly illegal. That means pet fees, pet deposits, and any charges which may be otherwise made to a non-service or non-ESA can’t be made. These are the basic principles outlined by the ADA, so make sure that you are familiar with them before you get one or if you believe they will ever apply to you.

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