Cuomo Touts Tax Credit Program For Hiring Recovering Addicts

Photo: U.S. Air Force / Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner

ALBANY – Starting in 2020, New York State will offer a $2,000 per employee tax credit for businesses hiring people recovering from drug use.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced 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. 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,” 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.”

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, Cuomo said.

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.

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has instituted a multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and created a 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 or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit 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.

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