All across New York, folks are living happier, better lives thanks in part to their emotional support animal. People all across the Golden Star state are enjoying the benefits of this amazing program. So, why not hop on the ESA bandwagon?
What is a New York Emotional Support Animal?
Sometimes, folks can run into problems when dealing with the subtle differences between service and support animals.
Traditionally dogs and horses, service animals are highly trained to perform a particular skill, for example, pulling a wheelchair, guiding the visually challenged, and detecting a seizure.
On the other hand, emotional support animals don’t require specialized training, but do, in some cases, need specific documentation proving the handler’s disability and the need for the support animal.
Sadly, all too often, you will come across housing providers who believe that unless you are blind or deaf, your reasonable accommodation request is fraudulent.
The ADA defined an individual’s disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual.” Major life activities include, but are not limited to, “caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.”
Specific Protections: Emotional Support Animal Laws In New York.
A study by the World Health Organization found that people who had asthma, angina, diabetes, or arthritis were more likely to suffer from depression than people without these conditions.
In those cases, we’d recommend those afflicted to consider getting an emotional support animal.
Open to anyone with a psychological or emotional disability, through compassion and companionship an ESA helps mitigate the symptoms associated with their disability.
ESA owners across New York would likely attest to the support and love shown by their ESA — given its ability to make them feel better.
Studies have shown that both children and adults respond very positively to owning an emotional support animal. In particular, ESA dogs are thought to have a calming, soothing, effect on those with autism, helping to cope with the fear of a panic attack.
Emotional support animals, like service animals, are protected by Federal and Georgia state law in travel and housing. Though, support animals do not enjoy the same public places protection.
Emotional Support Animal New York Housing Laws
The Fair Housing Act states that landlords are not allowed to discriminate against prospective tenants on the grounds of race, sexual orientation, religion, gender or whether or not you have a disability.
Federal Law requires landlords to allow tenants to live with their emotional support animals. In practice, this means renters cannot be charged a pet deposit, nor evicted (excluding certain rare exceptions).
With the introduction of the Federal Housing Amendments Act, landlords are required to make ‘reasonable accommodations,” allowing ESA owners and their companions the ability to live comfortably in their rented home.
The law allows landlords to require documentation supporting the need for a service or support animal. However, as no training is needed for a support animal, there’s no need for any time of “animal” certification.
Landlords also have the very limited ability to deny support animals, if the animal poses a threat to the safety or health others or would cause substantial property damage.
This exception is not based on breed or size; the threat to property or safety must be specific to the animal in question.
Although emotional support animal owners are afforded some rights, there are limitations when it comes to public spaces. By law, an ESA is not allowed access to restaurants, venues, and the such; it’s up to the service provider’s discretion to allow you access to their property.
Emotional Support Animal New York Travel Laws
In the air, the strict rules of the Federal Air Carrier Access Act govern emotional support animals.
Folks flying with a support animal must have written documentation from a licensed mental health professional declaring the traveler’s disability and the need for the animal. This letter must be issued within the past year, on the professional’s letterhead, and indicate the type of provided health care. Typically, airlines require at least 48 hours notice you’re traveling in the company of a support animal.
Should your disability’s treatment require an emotional support animal, there are Federal Laws that protect you. These laws are relatively new on the books, so it’s probably best to research Federal laws on the matter: The Fair Housing Act, the Air Carriers Access Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Qualifying for a New York Emotional Support Animal
The protocol of getting an emotional support animal letter in Georgia couldn’t be much easier. Just three steps — take an online assessment, purchase an ESA letter, have a telephone assessment with a licensed mental health professional.
All done safely and securely from the comfort of your home.
Looking for an ESA letter this week?