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Minnesota businesses can get financial help from state when adapting workplaces for employees with disabilities

A new state program known as the Employer Reasonable Accommodation Fund or ERAF provides up to $30,000 per fiscal year in reimbursements to eligible businesses to help them offset costs for expenses related to welcoming and supporting employees with disabilities.


“ERAF is a win-win program; it’s a positive for both employers and employees,” said Ray McCoy, ERAF Program Coordinator. “It removes any risk for employers as they make accommodations and invest in employees to make sure they are successful on the job.”


In this era of low unemployment, ERAF can help Minnesota small and midsize businesses that are looking to expand the pool of workers they can recruit and retain by removing the obstacle of out-of-pocket expenses of making accommodations in workplace spaces


The two-year, $1.6 million pilot program, funded by the legislature, covers the reimbursement of accommodations purchased by employers from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025. To be eligible, businesses must be domiciled in Minnesota, have fewer than 500 employees and have gross annual revenues of less than $5 million.


McCoy said that reimbursement for eligible employers, which can include nonprofits as well as of-profit businesses, is easy to apply for.


“With this program, there’s not a lot of red tape and hoops to jump through,” he said. “We want this process to be accessible. We can usually approve them in 30 days and they can get the money promptly.”


Expenses for workplace accommodations that ensure equal employment opportunities include:


·      Assistive Technology: Specialized software or hardware for computer accessibility

·      Workplace Modifications: Adjustable desks, wheelchair ramps, and adapted workstations

·      Communication Tools: Real-time captioning services, sign language interpreters, or text-to-speech software

·      Job Application Assistance: Support for disabled applicants during the hiring process, such as offering application materials in alternative formats like braille.

“Employers are using this assistance in ways you wouldn’t think of, like ergonomic chairs or work stations or, in a new building, making sure the bathrooms are ADA compliant. We’ve had employers get reimbursement for something as simple as changing their lighting for people who have sensitivities to bright lights,” McCoy explained.


For more information on ERAF, go to  Businesses that believe they meet the eligibility criteria can contact the ERAF team at or 651-539-2390 to start the application process.



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