Today, millions of Americans suffer from some kind of emotional or mental disability and this tendency doesn’t get any better. Too many people keep asking themselves: “How to win in the never-ending battle with the mental disorder?” No doubt it is never an easy task but there is always a way out in any situation. If you are a New Jersey resident and your life has become unbearable due to a mental problem, there is no need to lose courage. That’s because you can qualify for an emotional support animal and get yourself a little friend as a source of emotional comfort and the peace of mind. 

Just think of it – what draws people towards pets? Surely, a simple fact – these furry creatures offer unconditional loyalty to their caretakers with no rationalism or accusation. All you get is long-expected emotional support that we all appreciate so much. 

Luckily, it’s not hard to get yourself a therapy animal in New Jersey as you only need to be eligible for an ESA letter. But to be on the safe side, it’s always worth to learn more about the federal and state regulations for ESA owners and follow the legal rules to avoid unwanted confrontations with the law. 

Want to find out more about the local laws? Read on and you’ll discover all about the ESA laws in New Jersey to make sure you know how to legally own a therapy animal in this state.

How to qualify for an ESA letter in New Jersey?

There aren’t too many requirements for those who want to get an ESA letter in New Jersey. The process of getting a certificate is pretty straightforward. You only need to go through a consultation with a medical professional and prove that emotional support is something you really need at the moment. And you won’t lose anything if you just give it a try. You can get so many amazing benefits in return that it’s never a bad idea to check whether you qualify for an ESA letter. Another great plus is that you can also choose the preferable type of animal as long as it lessens the signs of your psychological problem. Typically, these are cats and dogs but you are free to choose any other pet if you find it more comforting.  

What’s more, in line with the federal regulations, ESA doesn’t have to be trained unlike service dogs and other therapy animals. Instead, all you need is to consult a mental health professional and prove that getting a support animal is exactly what can improve your quality of life. The medical expert will certify your mental trouble and issue a letter to let you enjoy all the privileges of an ESA owner. 

You might now be wondering what mental disorders are covered by ESA letters. In fact, the list of mental troubles is really plentiful and includes:

  • Personality disorders;
  • Cognitive disorders;
  • Traumas and stress;
  • Learning problems;
  • Phobias, panic attacks, and fears;
  • Bipolar disorder and many others. 

As long as your disability doesn’t let you live a happy life, you can apply for an ESA letter and get a therapy animal as a way to deal with emotional pressure and bring your life back to normal.

What should an ESA letter contain to give you legal rights in New Jersey?

The very goal of any ESA letter is to confirm your psychological or emotional disability to let you enjoy more freedom while traveling, renting a home and in other situations. The therapist, in this case, should verify that your mental health is unstable in order to:

  • Confirm that you require mental health care and an ESA is part of your treatment plan.
  • Approve that your mental disability doesn’t let you perform day-to-day tasks, which, in turn, negatively affects your psychological state and worsens your condition even more;
  • Reinforce your psychological problem to get legal rights of an ESA owner.

So, what should an ESA letter contain to give you legal rights for a therapy animal? According to the federal regulations, this document should consist of a few important points to inform landlords, airline companies or anyone else that you need emotional support. This certificate proves that you are under mental health treatment and suffer from a mental problem which you cannot overcome on your own.

In this way, to make sure you don’t break any rules but accurately follow New Jersey regulations, the first thing you should do is check whether you are entitled for an ESA certificate. It will serve as proof that an emotional support animal can help you feel better and make your daily activities more meaningful.

What legal rights will you have?

Want to know more about your rights as an ESA owner? You might have heard about all the miracles that an ESA pet can bring into your daily life. This means it will not just let you get rid of stress but will also give you some amazing privileges. In this respect, you will find the letter particularly helpful when:

  • Looking for a rental home 

The newly adopted Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act gives mentally disabled people a right to share housing with their pets even in homes where animals are usually not allowed by the landlords. All property owners in New Jersey must put up with this law and accept your support animal with no complaints. The only thing you need to take care of is to make sure you renew your certificate annually as it is usually issued for one year only. You should also remember that it’s not all about your own rights because you still have at least one obligation – to make sure your pet knows good manners and doesn’t damage anything in the rental apartment. Otherwise, you might face some restrictions. 

  • Traveling by airplane

One more law which is known as the Federal Air Carrier Access Act permits ESA owners in New Jersey to enjoy the air flights in a company of their pets. In fact, if you have an ESA letter, you will not have to keep your therapy animal in the cargo section but will be able to take it with you onboard the airplane. The only rule here is to inform the airline in advance and let them know that you’ll need accommodation for you and your furry companion during the upcoming flight. 

Is it possible to bring your ESA to work in New Jersey?

Provided that people spend countless hours at the workplace day after day and this is where they often deal with much psychological pressure and stress, you might start wondering if you can also bring your ESA to work. Indeed, does an ESA letter give you a right to take your pet to the workplace? What duties will you have if you do so? Do employers have the same responsibility to accommodate ESAs as other therapy animals like service dogs? 

If these are burning questions for you, there is no need to worry because ESA owners still have some freedoms even in this matter. Today, support animals in New Jersey can be allowed in many public places so it’s not surprising if you also expect to have more rights at the workplace. In fact, New Jersey employers are responsible for accommodating disabled workers in line with not just the Americans with Disabilities Act but also the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. 

As stated in the law, it’s illegal to display discrimination against anyone who has a physical or mental disability. This also applies to employers who must provide you with proper work conditions and ensure that you have everything necessary to perform your daily tasks successfully. That’s because making you feel comfortable in the workplace is also one of the important duties of employers. 

However, what is also true is that the employer is not responsible for accommodating a therapy animal if it can be a financial burden for the company. The same refers to situations when a support animal can disrupt the working environment and make other workers uncomfortable. But it still doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea. Just make sure you discuss these points with your employer and perhaps you’ll reach a compromise to satisfy everyone involved.  

Key Takeaways

There is no doubt that emotional support animals help mentally unstable individuals to fight their disorders and live better lives despite their health problems. And today, ESA owners have many rights and freedoms to enjoy. In New Jersey, therapy pets can even be allowed in certain public areas like hotels, shopping centers, and restaurants and you can also get access to many other fascinating opportunities.

But what you need to remember is that the laws give you not just tempting benefits but also some responsibilities. Luckily, there are only a few simple rules to follow to make sure you are on good terms with the law. As a rule of thumb, just make sure your pet can behave in public without disturbing anyone or causing any damage. And in return, you can get so many privileges that you’ll soon realize it was worth your time and effort. 

Ready to start a new life? Just apply for an ESA letter and wait for amazing transformations to enter your life!