Program Provides Tax Incentives for Certified Employers who Hire People in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders in Either Full- or Part-Time Positions
Allows Employers to Receive up to $2,000 Credit for Each Person in Recovery Hired
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the FY 2020 Enacted Budget includes the nation's first Recovery Tax Credit program, which provides tax incentives for certified employers who hire people in recovery from substance use disorders in either full- or part-time positions. Beginning in the year 2020, up to $2 million will be allocated for this program annually, with employers receiving a maximum credit of $2,000 for each eligible person they hire. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services will administer the program in conjunction with the Department of Taxation and Finance.
"As the opioid epidemic continues to impact families and communities across the state, we remain committed to ensuring individuals who are in recovery have the support they need to lead healthy lives," Governor Cuomo said. "This tax incentive will help remove the stigma surrounding addiction and ensure those battling this disease can create a stable and sustainable path to recovery."
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "The Senate Majority is committed to fighting against the opioid crisis and substance abuse. Helping those struggling to overcome addiction find meaningful employment and support re-entering the workforce is vital for their recovery. I thank Senator Pete Harckham, Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, for his leadership in these efforts and for helping New Yorkers on their path to recovery."
"All New Yorkers should have access to good paying jobs and be part of our robust workforce," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Abuse Task Force. "This tax credit will help to incentivize employers to hire individuals who are on the road to recovery. Individuals and families struggling with addiction should have access to equal opportunities and have the resources and support they need to live healthy and prosperous lives. This Recovery Tax Credit Program is part of our efforts to continue to combat the opioid epidemic and ensure the health and safety of New Yorkers."
The recovery tax credit will provide eligible employers up to a $2,000 tax credit for each eligible individual who has worked a minimum of 500 hours. In addition to creating a recovery-oriented culture in business and local communities, this tax credit is designed to encourage and accelerate growth across the state by increasing employment opportunities.
An employer that provides a recovery-supportive environment and otherwise meets the program's requirements must apply annually to OASAS to claim the credit for eligible individuals employed during the preceding calendar year. Applications for the first year of the program will be due by January 15, 2021, for eligible individuals employed during the 2020 tax year.
Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "Steady employment can be vital to successful recovery. With this program, people in recovery will have another avenue to rebuild their lives, while employers have the chance to contribute to the recovery and well-being of their employees and community."
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Executive Deputy Commissioner Andrew Morris said, "This tax credit is a win-win for recovering New Yorkers and employers who need to bolster their workforce with skilled employees eager to contribute to their success. We encourage businesses to take advantage of this valuable incentive while helping to break the stigma of those recovering from addiction. I applaud Governor Cuomo for championing this credit."
Senator Pete Harckham, Chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse said, "The stigma of drug addiction keeps too many employers from hiring recovering substance abusers, making their recovery process even more difficult. This innovative Recovery Tax Credit program will help provide steady jobs for those in recovery - just what they need to continue to turn their lives around and break the chains of addiction."
Senator Betty Little said, "Those in recovery need to know they are valued and have purpose and certainly having a job is a big part of that. As a proponent, I am very pleased to see this 'first-in-the-nation' tax credit included in this year's budget. This is a positive and proactive approach to help people who are overcoming their addiction get back on their feet and move forward."
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Chair said, "Stigma still shrouds individuals dealing with substance use disorder, and these biases often make it difficult for people in recovery to transition back into the workforce. The recovery tax credit program will help break down that barrier and bridge individuals in recovery with employment opportunities."
Assemblymember Billy Jones said, "Anyone who has made the brave decision to begin their journey to recovery should be encouraged and supported every step of the way. This tax credit will help give recovering New Yorkers the opportunity to return to work so that they can begin a new, positive chapter of their lives. By gaining steady employment during the recovery process, individuals are more likely to complete their recovery and maintain a sober, healthy lifestyle."
Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and created a nation-leading continuum of addiction care with full prevention, treatment and recovery services. To combat this epidemic, the Governor has worked to expand access to traditional services, including crisis services, inpatient, outpatient, and residential treatment programs, as well as medication-assisted treatment, and mobile treatment and transportation services.
In 2016, Governor Cuomo's Heroin Task Force recommended new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers, youth clubhouses, expanded peer services and 24/7 open access centers, which provide immediate assessments and referrals to care. These services have since been established in numerous communities around the state and have helped people in need access care closer to where they live.
The Governor has advanced legislative and regulatory reform to enable people to get treatment faster by eliminating many insurance restrictions, as well as legislation to reduce most opioid prescriptions from 30 days to seven days, and legislation to increase training and education for prescribers. Governor Cuomo has also taken action to combat patient brokering and fraudulent addiction treatment services.
The Governor has also worked to increase training and availability of naloxone, resulting in more than 300,000 individuals in New York State being trained and equipped with the opioid overdose reversal medication. Through Governor Cuomo's actions, pharmacies around New York State are now able to provide naloxone without a prescription.
New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).
Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State's Talk2Prevent website.