The Business Case…

For Hiring Employees with Treated (or in Treatment) Mental Health Conditions is a Good Business Decision

The BIG Question

The Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) conservatively estimates that it costs $4,020 to replace an employee who makes $9.19*per hour. That just covers advertising, screening, and interviewing. Training and lost productivity during transition runs the cost even higher.

If you are a small business owner/operator with limited HR assets, the cost and the frustration level can go even higher.

As an employer, your decision to hire any new worker comes down to one BIG question: “Will this person help me make or save more money?”

With so much at stake, why take a chance on hiring someone who has been through treatment or currently receiving treatment for a Behavioral Health (mental health and/or substance) disability?

“Will this person help me make, or save more money?”

5 Solid, bottom-line enhancing reason to hire a person with a behavioral health disability

  1. If you are a US Company and hire a person with a disability you may qualify for the Federal Work Opportunities Tax Credit amounting to $2,400 (WTOC renewed through 2014) Go to www.wa.gov/esd/wotc for forms and instructions to apply.
  2. If you are a small business that generates less than $1 million annually OR have less than 30 full-time employees you may qualify for The Disabled Access Credit of up to $5,000 to defray the cost of providing access to workers with disabilities.
  3. If hiring a worker with a disability will require your business to remove physical or structural barriers, there’s a tax deduction for that too. Up to $15,000 per year from the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction to cover expenses incurred in removing those barriers. POTENTIAL BONUS – If you will need to remove a transportation barrier, you may also qualify for the Disabled Access Credit.
  4. If you are recruiting your new hire through the Washington State DSHS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or a local Supported Employment Organization, you will receive pre-screened applicants and, you may qualify for funding to offset your training costs during the first three months a new employee is on the job.**
  5. If your job candidate is a veteran with a service-connected disability, you may be eligible for an added $2,400 Work Opportunity Credit AND a VA Reimbursement equaling up to 50% of your new employee’s salary over 6 months*

In Addition…4 more revenue-enhancing reasons

  1. Expand your market. Customers with disabilities, including behavioral health disabilities, their families, friends, and associates represent a trillion dollar market segment. A large percentage say they prefer to patronize businesses that hire people with disabilities.
  2. Reduce turnover costs As a group, people who have gone through treatment for behavioral health disabilities have higher than average retention rates, meaning fewer turnovers and less expense for you.
  3. Innovation and problem-solving skills are highly prized. People with behavioral health disabilities are innate problems solvers – they have to be – and they bring that ability with them to work.
  4. Individual training may also be part of the deal if you are working with the Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation* or one of the many Supported Employment agencies throughout the state. (Scan the QR Code at the bottom for a list of these agencies in your county.)

If you are worried about red tape, don’t be.

There are a number of not-for-profit Supported Employment (IPS) agencies throughout the state that will assist you supported employment (IPS) specialists are available to help you identify and apply for all of the incentives and benefits your company qualifies to receive. Just ask.

They may also be able to help you and your new employee with:

  • Prescreen applicants
  • Accommodations (tools, technology) if needed
  • Providing support to employees after job placement
  • Internships, On-the-job-training
  • Job Coaching

Find additional resources below:
Download “About Great Minds” PDF here.
Download “Five Reasons to Hire Someone with a Behavioral Health Disability” PDF here.
Download “Myths About Stigma” PDF here.