National Rehabilitation Association

Issue Statement

Pass the Disability Employment Incentive Act

The National Rehabilitation Association calls on Congress to pass the Disability Employment Incentive Act

Committees of Jurisdiction: S. 255 (Casey), Senate Finance

Statement of the Problem : While many factors affect the employment of people with disabilities, a persistent barrier is the reluctance of employers to hire people with disabilities. The Disability Employment Incentive Act (DEIA) would increase three existing tax credits for employers who hire individuals with disabilities and make their workplaces more accessible.

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit—The DEIA would increase the tax credit for employers who hire a person with a disability referred to them through a state Vocational Rehabilitation agency, a person who is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or a person who is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The credit would continue to be 40 percent of the individual’s salary for the first year of employment, but would raise the amount of the salary considered for credit from $6,000 to $12,500, raising the maximum available tax credit from $2,400 to $5,000. The DEIA also provides a tax credit for any business that retains an employee for a second year of employment and permits the business to take a credit on 20 percent of the employee’s salary up to $12,500, which is a $2,500 credit.

  • Disability Access Expenditures Tax Credit—The DEIA would increase this credit, available to small businesses with gross receipts of less than $3 million annually or with no more than 60 full-time employees. The maximum tax credit would be raised from $5,000 to $10,000.

  • Architectural and Transportation Barrier Tax Credit—The DEIA would increase this tax credit to $30,000 for expenses incurred during a single year by a business in removing existing physical barriers in qualified facilities or transportation vehicles. Businesses would also be able to take the credit for expenses for making their telecommunications and on-line business operations accessible. This tax credit has been available since 1976 and the current limit is $15,000. The credit may not be used for new structures, only for existing structures where the expenses are used to create accessible spaces to the standards of the U.S. Access Board.

Background : The need to increase disability employment is great. The tax credits will provide incentives to small and large employers and will encourage them to hire and retain individuals with disabilities.

For more information, please contact:

Fredric K. Schroeder, Executive Director

National Rehabilitation Association

(703) 836-0850 ext. 303