Legislation (S.3688) sponsored by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. that would create a tax credit program for small businesses that hire disabled employees awaits the Governor’s approval, as the bill has been passed by the State Senate and Assembly.
“This proposal would help New York’s small businesses hire talented, qualified workers who simply happen to be disabled, and who may find it difficult to obtain employment,” said Addabbo. “Offering tax incentives to small companies to reach out to potential employees with mental, physical or medical disabilities would be a win, win: providing employers with first-rate workers they might not otherwise consider, and enabling disabled New Yorkers to gain work experience and support themselves.”
Under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 100 employees would be able to receive a $5,000 tax credit for each disabled person they hire, up to $25,000. The employees must work at least 35 hours a week for at least one year for the companies to be eligible for the tax credit. Statewide, $5 million would be available each year to cover the cost of the credits.
“The employment rate for disabled Americans has been falling, and this tax incentive may help to reverse the trend,” said Addabbo. “According to the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium produced by RespectAbility, a national advocacy group, New York ranked 36th in the nation in terms of the number of disabled people employed in the state. The job rate for disabled workers in New York came in at 33 percent.”
Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for disabled Americans fell from 39.3 percent in 2009 to 34.5 percent in 2015.
“Clearly, we need to do more to help our disabled family members, neighbors and friends find meaningful employment and enjoy the independence that a steady job can bring,” said Addabbo. “At the same time, it’s important to help our small business owners, who are the backbone of our economy, find qualified employees to share in and contribute to the success of their companies.”
Now that the legislation has cleared both houses of the Legislature, the next stop for the proposal is Governor Cuomo’s desk for final consideration.