HERO for Youth Act Would Expand WOTC

The following are a series of bills proposed in the Senate or House that would expand WOTC in a variety of ways. Some of these bills have been proposed numerous times. There is currently no serious indication that any of these proposals are likely to become law this year.

Illinois’ Senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, are introducing a bill to expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to encourage the hiring of young workers. The “HERO for Youth Act” would expand the target group currently known as “Summer Youth” to apply to year-round employment for students and increase the value of that credit from $1,200 to $2,400. A version of this legislation introduced in the last Congress also included an additional target group, “At-Risk Youth.” The At-Risk Youth target group is roughly equivalent to a WOTC target group that was available during 2009-2010 called “Disconnected Youth.”

An At-Risk Youth is defined as an individual between the ages of 16 and 25 who is not regularly attending school, who was not regularly employed in the prior six months, and is not readily employable by reason of lacking sufficient skills. Alternatively, an individual between the ages of 16 and 21 who was an eligible foster child within the 12 months before being hired.

We previously reported about a House bill to expand WOTC to include military spouses. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and John Boozman (R-AR) are reintroducing a similar bill in the Senate called “Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act.” A previous version of the bill proposed to add a new WOTC target group, “qualified military spouse,” defined as, “the spouse or domestic partner (as recognized under State law or by the Armed Forces) of a member of the Armed Forces.”

Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) has reintroduced the “VOW to Hire Heroes Extension Act,” which has been introduced repeatedly since 2013. The bill aims to make the veteran target groups of WOTC permanent and to simplify the documentation required to certify veterans for the program. Text of the bill is available here.

Senator Duckworth, along with Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) is also co-authoring the RECRUIT Act which is a tax credit to incentivize the hiring of military Reserve and National Guard servicemembers. The text of the bill is not yet available, so it is unclear if this proposal would utilize the WOTC platform or create a new provision.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Disability Employment Incentive Act to expand WOTC to include the hiring of individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance. The bill would also increase the credit amount for vocational rehabilitation referrals and qualified SSI or SSDI recipients.

Press release about the HERO for Youth Act, May 11, 2021.

Press release about the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act, May 7, 2021.

Press release about the VOW to Hire Heroes Extension Act, April 30, 2021.

Press release about the RECRUIT Act, April 16, 2021.

Press release about the Disability Employment Incentive Act, March 12, 2021.


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