The article is a subjective view on this topic written by writers specializing in medical writing.
It may reflect on a personal journey surrounding struggles with an illness or medical condition, involve product comparisons, diet considerations, or other health-related opinions.
Although the view is entirely that of the writer, it is based on academic experiences and scientific research they have conducted; it is fact-checked by a team of degreed medical experts, and validated by sources attached to the article.
The numbers in parenthesis (1,2,3) will take you to clickable links to related scientific papers.
Emotional Support Animal Indiana: ESA Laws & Guides 2023
Emotional support animals serve a valuable role in the lives of those they support. While Indiana recognizes their importance, there are no laws in Indiana that require public places or employers to accommodate them.
The only rights emotional support animals (ESAs) have in Indiana are reasonable accommodations from housing providers, courtesy of the federal Fair Housing Act.
This article will discuss what ESAs are, how to get an ESA letter, as well as the specific ESA laws in Indiana.
Emotional Support Animal Indiana: Understand The Laws
Indiana, like all states, must abide by federal housing laws that protect ESAs. Namely, the Fair Housing Act protects ESAs and their owners from discrimination.
Public transportation, air travel, public places, and employers are not required by law to make any accommodations for ESAs. Though, while not required, several public places will make accommodations for ESAs with a valid ESA letter.
3 Emotional Support Animal Laws Indiana
Regardless of what specific laws protect or do not protect ESAs in Indiana, it’s important to know that when you request accommodations anywhere for your ESA, you are not obligated to disclose any personal information, including details about your medical condition.
If a landlord, airline, or employer wants to see proof that you need an ESA, a ESA letter from a LMHP is all that is required.
ESA Laws For Employment In Indiana
There are currently no employment-related laws that protect ESAs in Indiana. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, it does not specify that it must make accommodations for ESAs in the workplace.
Individual employers make determinations about whether or not to allow their employees to bring their ESA to work. Having a valid ESA letter can help in your request to have an ESA accompany you to work, but is not a guarantee that your employer will oblige your request.
The Fair Housing Act And ESA Housing Laws
The Fair Housing Act is a federal law, applicable and enforceable in all 50 states. This law prohibits landlords and housing providers (including on-campus housing) from rejecting an individual’s housing application based on their disability and/or their ESA.
A landlord may only reject a housing application if they have reason to think the ESA would cause undue hardship or danger to the building or other tenants. However, if the animal is well-behaved, quiet, and house-trained, landlords must make reasonable accommodations for the ESA, without charging a pet fee, even if there is a no pets policy in the building.
The Air Carrier Access Act
The travel version of the Fair Housing Act is the Air Carrier Access Act, a federal law that protects the rights of disabled individuals who wish to travel. However, unlike the Fair Housing Act, airlines no longer have to make reasonable accommodations for ESAs.
In fact, it is up to individual airlines whether they will allow ESAs to fly with their owners in the airplane cabin, and whether or not a pet fee will apply (before January 2021, ESAs could fly with their owners for free, but recent laws no longer offer free travel for ESAs).
Emotional Support Animal (ESA): An Overview
ESAs are more than pets. While pets can provide comfort and emotional support for their owners, ESAs are specifically prescribed as a treatment by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) for someone with a mental or emotional disability.
Here are a just few of the disabilities that may qualify someone for an ESA:
- Bipolar disorder.
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Panic attacks.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder.
Be sure to consult a LMHP for a full fisting of conditions that may qualify for an ESA.
If you are a candidate for an ESA, your LMHP will write you an ESA letter. Learn more about how to get an ESA letter. In some cases, a LMHP may feel you need more than one ESA, in which case, they will write you an ESA letter for each animal.
Still, any of these diagnoses do not guarantee an ESA, as a LMHP must feel that having an ESA would be suitable for your treatment.
ESAs are often confused with service animals. Service animals have been specially trained to perform specific tasks for disabled individuals. Because service animals have specialized training, they are granted more public access and legal rights than ESAs.
A service animal can help with a specific disability related need, such as fetching medication or food, guiding the visually impaired, or sensing an oncoming fainting spell.
How To Get An Emotional Support Animal Indiana?
Talk To Medical Professional
The first step of emotional support animal registration Indiana is to speak with a LMHP who will diagnose you and determine if an ESA would help alleviate your symptoms. If they deem an ESA necessary, they will write you an ESA letter.
Get The Emotional Support Animal Letter
Your LMHP will write you an ESA letter. This letter should be on their letterhead and include their contact information, as well as their license number. The letter should explain your diagnoses and why they feel an ESA is necessary for your treatment.
Once you have the ESA letter, keep copies for yourself to present to businesses, airlines, and employers if they need to verify your ESA.
Do I Need To Inform My Landlord Of My Indiana Emotional Support Animal?
Yes. You should inform your landlord about your ESA. You have nothing to fear about informing your landlord about your ESA–they are required by law to make reasonable accommodations for you and your ESA, even if the building has a no pets policy.
It’s possible that if you acquire an ESA after your housing application has been accepted/you’ve moved in, and if the building allows pets, you may not be required to let the landlord know. However, the landlord may have a clause in the lease which states that they require notice about bringing in animals (check your lease).
To be on the safe side, always tell your landlord if you have or plan to have an ESA.
Is It Possible To Own More Than One ESA In Indiana?
Yes. You can have more than one ESA in Indiana. A LMHP needs to agree that you require more than one ESA. Each ESA must provide a different function in your treatment and each ESA requires its own valid ESA letter.
Indiana state laws do not make special accommodations for ESAs in the workplace, in public transportation, or in public spaces. However, Indiana must follow federal housing laws that prevent landlords from discriminating against ESAs and their owners.
Indiana state requires a valid ESA letter from a LMHP stating your need for an ESA in order for your pet to have ESA access and rights. If you do not know of a LMHP, you can find one via online resources such as Certapet.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is entirely up to the employer. There is no state or federal law that grants ESAs access to the workplace in Indiana. If you wish for your ESA to come with you to work in Indiana, you should have an ESA letter and discuss it with your employer.
Yes. There is no limit to the amount of ESAs you can have. A LMHP must agree that you need more than one ESA and write you a valid ESA letter for each animal.
Yes. Any animal that you feel would support your emotional well-being could be an ESA. However, landlords must only make “reasonable accommodations” for ESAs, but can deny your request for an ESA if the accommodations are unreasonable (for example, if you wanted to keep a horse in your apartment).
The pet fees on flights will vary from airline to airline. This applies to ESAs and other assistance animals. Only service animals may not be charged with a pet fee. You should call the airline and speak with a customer service representative.
+ 5 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Younggren, J.N., Boness, C.L., Bryant, L.M. and Koocher, G.P. (2020). Emotional Support Animal Assessments: Toward a Standard and Comprehensive Model for Mental Health Professionals. [online] 51(2), pp.156–162. doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/pro0000260.
- HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). (n.d.). Assistance Animals. [online] Available at: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/assistance_animals#:~:text=Housing%20providers%20cannot.
- ADA.gov. (2023). Laws, Regulations & Standards. [online] Available at: https://www.ada.gov/law-and-regs/.
- Transportation.gov. (2022). Passengers with Disabilities | US Department of Transportation. [online] Available at: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/passengers-disabilities.
- ADA.gov. (2023). Service Animals. [online] Available at: https://www.ada.gov/topics/service-animals/.