These tax incentives have been available to eligible businesses since 1976 for the deduction and 1990 for the tax credit but their amounts have not increased since then despite obvious increases in renovation and building costs. They 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. These provisions could not only amplify the investments in infrastructure envisioned in the American Jobs Plan but increase opportunities for millions of people with disabilities and their families.
In addition, despite employment protections provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability employment rights laws, only 32 percent of veterans with both a service-connected and a non-service-connected disability and 37 percent of those with non-service-connected disabilities are employed, compared with over three-quarters of veterans without disabilities. These disabled veterans will face many of the same employment challenges in the years ahead as the country emerges from the pandemic.
The DEIA would also make a number of improvements in tax credits and deductions that benefit PVA members as well as millions of other Americans with disabilities. It would increase the tax credit for employers who hire a person with a disability and extend the application of the credit to persons receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many PVA members, if they are not working, receive SSDI and the enhancements to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit contained in the DEIA will position many Social Security disability beneficiaries to take advantage of the recovering economy.
Congress must pass the Disability Employment Incentive Act (H.R. 3765/S. 630), which would make long overdue improvements in tax incentives for businesses to make their facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. The legislation will also enhance the current Work Opportunity Tax Credit available to employers by raising the value of the tax credit, extending the credit’s availability for a second year of employment, and enable the use of the credit for hiring SSDI beneficiaries.