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Learn about employer incentives

Federal and New York State governments provide incentives to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals with disabilities who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of these programs is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers, while the participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal and/or state income tax liability. These workforce programs help incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities

  • Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
    Provides businesses with a first year tax credit up to $2400 of the first $6000 in wages paid to a eligible worker with a disability
  • NYS Workers with Disabilities Employment Tax Credit (WETC)
    Businesses can claim a State tax credit of up to $2,100 of the first $6,000 in wages paid to a eligible worker with a disability during the second year of employment.

    By linking the WOTC and WETC, New York State businesses can receive a total tax credit of $4500 for each employee with a disability over a two year period.
  • New York State Empire Zone Tax Credits
    Provides certified employers whose businesses reside in an Empire Zone, a NY State tax credit of up to $15,000 over 5 years. The Empire Zone program is designed to stimulate economic growth in the most distressed areas of New York State. By offering wide-ranging financial incentives and community-based workforce enhancement, the program has become a catalyst for new business development, existing business expansion and job creation.
  • Work Try-Out (WTO)
    Provides employers with 100% wage reimbursement for up to 160 hours of employment to try out a worker's job performance
    www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/  |  www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cbvh/employers.asp
  • On The Job Training (OJT)
    Reimburses the worker's salary, on a sliding scale, up to specified time, while the worker is being trained.
    www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/  |  www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cbvh/employers.asp
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
    Funding for OJT's - $5000 is available to NYS for-profit and not-for profit entities that provide on the job training through the New York State Department of Labor.
  • Job Coach Services Provides an employer with an experienced job coach, at no cost, to coach the newly hired worker for as long as required to learn the job and meet performance standards.
    www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/  |  www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cbvh/employers.asp
  • The Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction
    IRS Code Section 190, Barrier Removal - Businesses of all sizes may take an annual deduction for expenses incurred to remove barriers for people with disabilities in the workplace. Up to $15,000 each year can be used for a tax deduction for expenses incurred to remove barriers for people with disabilities. Barrier removals may benefit business employees or the general public.
  • Small Business Tax Credit
    IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit can be used by certain small businesses for architectural changes, equipment or services; the purchase of adaptive equipment or the modification of equipment; the production of print materials in accessible formats (e.g., Braille, audio tape, large print); the removal of barriers, in buildings or vehicles,; and fees for consulting services (under certain circumstances.) Expenses must be paid to enable a small business to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Businesses can claim the Disabled Access Credit on IRS Form 8826.
  • Small Business Assistance The U.S. Department of Labor is particularly sensitive to the needs of small businesses and provides a number of resources to help you plan for future events and meet your workforce needs.

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New York State Office of Mental Health Burton Blatt Institute K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute