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Frequently Asked Questions about the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act
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Graphic of a globe with a link to the translation to other languages page.Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)   

Trade Reemployment Assistance (TRA)   

Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)  

Training Assistance  

Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)  

Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)  

 Appeal Rights  

Additional Information   


    

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) 
        
What is Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) how do I file?
The Trade Act program provides a variety of re-employment services and income support to assist individuals who have become either unemployed or had hours reduced as a result of increased imports from, or shifts in production to, foreign countries. TAA services may be expanded to secondary workers of businesses or suppliers to the primary company, firm, or petitioning workers who filed the TAA petition.
   
Additional information can be found at:  Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)  

    
Where can I get help filing a TAA petition?
Contract the Trade Petitions unit by email at: Trade_Petitions@jfs.ohio.gov for assistance with filing a TAA petition.
     
What is the focus of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act?
The goal of the Trade Act programs is to help trade-affected workers return to suitable employment as quickly as possible.

How do you file for Trade Adjustment Assistance?
To obtain Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) or Alternative Trade adjustment Assistance (ATAA) re-employment services and benefits, a group of workers must first file a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor. An application and instructions for applying can be found at: Petitioners | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov).

Who may a file a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition for certification of eligibility?  

  • A group of two or more petitioning workers
  • A union official/representative
  • A company official, such as the human resource manager
  • One-Stop operators or partners, including state workforce agencies, or the state dislocated worker unit

An online petition form can be obtained by contacting the state TAA coordinator at:
Petitioners | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov).   
    
Assistance is also available from the Trade Petitions unit: Email: Trade_Petitions@jfs.ohio.gov Phone: 1-888-296-7541.
       
What is the Department of Labor timeline for approval/disapproval of a petition?
USDOL is committed to approve or disapprove a petition for TAA within 40 days from the date of the application.

    Can petitioners request reconsideration of a Department of Labor determination of eligibility for Trade Adjustment Assistance?
    Affected workers may request administrative reconsideration by the U.S. Department of Labor. Requests for reconsideration must:

    • Be in writing
    • Include the TAA investigation number
    • Describe the job responsibilities affected for the group of workers included in the petition
    • Cite reasons why the workers consider the denial erroneous according to the facts, the interpretation of the facts, or the law itself

    Reconsideration requests must be mailed within 30 days of Federal Register publication to:

    U.S. Department of Labor,
    Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
    200 Constitution Avenue NW
    Room N-5428
    Washington, DC 20210
    Phone: 202-693-3560 or 1-888-DOL-ATAA (1-888-365-6822)
    Fax: 202-693-3584, 3585
    Email: taa.petition@dol.gov 
        
    A judicial review of the U.S. Department of Labor's initial petition denial or denial following administrative reconsideration may be requested by affected workers. Appeals for judicial review must be mailed within 60 days of Federal Register publication of the initial denial or administrative reconsideration denial to:
       
    Office of the Clerk, U.S. Court of International Trade,
    One Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10028-0001
    Phone: 212-264-7090
        
    Contract the Trade Petitions Unit at 1-888-296-7541 or by email at: Trade_Petitions@jfs.ohio.gov for assistance in filing an appeal. 

    How do affected workers become aware of the services that may be available to them through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program?  

    • The U.S. Department of Labor directly notifies the petitioner, the company, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Trade section, of a certification.
    • The Trade section will receive a list of affected workers that were separated due to a lack of work from the employer.  The workers will be contacted to participate in a Benefit Rights Information session that will explain the potential benefits available through Trade Adjustment Assistance. 

        
    Trade Reemployment Assistance  

    Once certified, what re-employment services can be made available?  

    There are several options to assist you with your reemployment activities. Some of the services available may include employment workshops, career information, assessments of skill levels, review of abilities and aptitudes, assistance with resumes and practice interviews. You could also be provided with access to computers with internet capabilities to assist with job search activities.   
    For additional information, contact the OhioMeansJobs center closest to you.
        
    In addition to your local OhioMeansJobs center, OhioMeansJobs.com is an excellent reemployment resource. This is a job matching system used to assist you with job search, placement assistance, career counseling and the ability to post a resume. The system may also be used to provide information on potential career choices, job fairs, skill assessments and potential training opportunities.
        
    What is Job Search Allowance and how do I qualify?

    If it is determined that the Trade impacted eligible worker cannot secure suitable employment within the local commuting area, the worker may be eligible for a job search allowance.

    • Job search allowances cover expenses incurred while seeking employment outside of the 15 mile commuting area. 
    • A job search can include, but is not limited to:
      • Travel to attend job fairs and interviews
      • Travel to attend prevocational workshops
      • Travel for an in-person visit or completing an application with an employer who may reasonably be expected to have openings for suitable employment
    • You will be reimbursed 90% of the costs of allowable travel and subsistence, up to a maximum of $1,250. 
    • An application for a job search allowance must be submitted before your job search begins, and within 365 days of your layoff or certification (whichever is later), or within 182 days after the conclusion of training.

    Important Deadlines  

    • An application for a job search allowance must be submitted before a job search begins.
    • An application for a job search allowance must be submitted either before the 365th day after the layoff or certification or 182 days after the conclusion of training, whichever is later. 

    What is a Relocation Allowance and how do I qualify?
    If a Trade worker finds suitable employment outside their commuting area (15 miles) after being unable to find suitable work within their commuting area, they may receive financial assistance to relocate to the new area of secured employment. Relocation allowances may include: 90% of the reasonable and necessary expenses of moving the workers, their families, and their household goods. The amount will be reduced if the worker is entitled to reimbursement from other sources. A worker may be eligible for a lump-sum payment equal to three times the worker's average weekly wage (but no more than $1,250) to help them relocate.

    Important Deadlines  

    • Requests for relocation allowances must be submitted before the relocation begins.
    • An application for a relocation allowance must be submitted before the 425th day after the layoff or certification or 182 days after the conclusion of training, whichever is later. 

         
    Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)  

    What is the Health Coverage Tax Credit?
    The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Reform Act of 2002 created a tax credit that subsidizes the cost of private health insurance for certain Trade candidates.  The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for implementing this credit under the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) program. For detailed information on HCTC, and a list of state-qualified health plans, visit the Internal Revenue Service website https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/hctc.
       
    Basic Health Coverage Tax Credit Benefit Provisions
    The credit is equal to 72.5 percent of the premium paid by eligible individuals for qualified health insurance.  The remaining 27.5 percent of the premium is paid by the eligible individual.

    Health Coverage Tax Credit Benefit
    Those eligible may file claims in advance to help pay for health plan premiums as they become due or receive a credit on their income tax for any month they were eligible and did not receive advance payment.
        
    Claiming Health Coverage Tax Credit
    There are two ways to claim the Health Coverage Tax Credit:

    1. Register with the IRS to receive the advance payment of the credit on a monthly basis.
    2. Claim the Health Coverage Tax Credit when filing a federal tax return.
    Groups Eligible to Receive Health Coverage Tax Credit
    • Individuals receiving a Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA).
    • Individuals who would be eligible for TRA but who have not exhausted their state unemployment compensation benefits.
    • Individuals receiving Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA).
    Health Coverage Tax Credit Eligibility Requirements
    • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another individual’s tax return.
    • You do not have other specified coverage, including Medicare.
    • You must not be incarcerated in a federal, state or local prison.

    Training Assistance  

    What is approved Trade Adjustment Assistance training and what types of training can be available?
    The state approves TAA training after it has been determined that the requested training has met all six criteria defined by 20 CFR 618.610.  Allowable types of training under TAA are Remedial, Vocational, Academic, On-the-Job and State-Certified Apprenticeship.

    What are the six criteria that must be satisfied as a condition for approval of Trade Adjustment Assistance training?
    The six criteria are: 

    • There is no suitable employment for the worker.
    • The worker would benefit from appropriate training.
    • There is a reasonable expectation of employment following the training.
    • The training must be reasonably available to the worker.
    • The worker is qualified to obtain and complete the training, including having adequate financial resources available to complete the training when income support is exhausted.
    • The training is suitable and available at a reasonable cost. 

    What costs may be included in Trade Adjustment Assistance training?  

    • Tuition, required books, tools, fees, etc. (If fees or materials are required of all students while in the training program, the expense will be covered.
    • Supplemental Allowances are paid to offset the cost of traveling outside of the commuting distance for training.  (commuting distance is 15 miles one-way) 
      • Only one allowance is payable, the lowest cost of the two is used for the allowance: 
        • Subsistence allowances 
        • Transportation allowances  

      What is Remedial Training?
      Remedial training is training in the elementary skills that every worker must have in order to achieve basic re-employability which includes ESOL. Remedial training should lead to the occupational, on-the-job or customized training that will equip the participant with specific job skills.
         
      What is Vocational Training?
      Vocational training is short-term classroom training.
        
      What is Academic Training?
      Academic training is long-term classroom training.
         
      What is On-The-Job Training?
      On-the-job training is training that is provided by an employer which typically involves a combination of observing and hands-on experience completing tasks under the supervision of a training manager.
         
      What is State-Certified Apprenticeship?
      State-Certified Apprenticeship is classroom training or distance learning that teaches high-level skills for today’s workforce while the individual earns a living.

      What is customized training?
      Customized training means the training is designed to meet the specialized requirements of an employer or group of employers. The training is conducted with a commitment by the employer or group of employers, to employ the individual upon successful completion of the training. The employer pays for a significant portion of the cost of training and not less than 50%.

      What are Trade Readjustment Allowances?
      Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) are weekly cash payments. TRA benefits fall into three categories: Basic TRA, Additional TRA and Completion TRA. Each category has its own set of eligibility requirements. 

      • Basic TRA-may be payable if the worker is enrolled or participating in TAA training, has completed such training, or has obtained a waiver of the training requirement. 
      • Additional TRA-may be payable only if the worker is participating in TAA approved training
      • Completion TRA-may be payable for those workers who require a longer period of income support to complete their TAA approved training.

      In general, certified workers may be eligible for up to 130 weeks of income support, usually broken down as follows.

      • 26 weeks of state unemployment insurance (UI) compensation
      • 26 weeks of basic TRA
      • Up to 65 weeks of Additional TRA only available to those in TAA approved training
      • Up to 13 weeks of Completion TRA for those customers in training who require the extra weeks of income support.

      Important Deadlines for TRA
      If eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act (TAARA) 2015: 

      To receive TRA the worker must be enrolled in TAA approved training or issued a written training waiver by the 26th week after the most recent qualifying separation from adversely affected employment or by the 26th week after the certification date of the petition, whichever is later.
          
      If eligible for Trade Reversion 2021 (R2021):   

      To receive TRA the worker must be enrolled in TAA approved training or issued a written training waiver by the 16th week after the most recent qualifying separation from adversely affected employment or by the 8th week after the certification date of the petition, whichever is later.

         
      How do I qualify for Trade Readjustment Allowances?
      To qualify for Trade Readjustment Allowances, you must: 

      • Be covered by an approved certification
      • Be a worker laid off due to lack of work totally or partially, or accept a voluntary separation due to lack to from a USDOL, TAA certified (affected) employer on or after the impact date identified by USDOL and prior to the expiration date of the certification
      • The worker must have worked at least 26 weeks with wages of $30 or more a week in adversely affected employment in the previous 52 week period. This includes the week of the first qualifying separation. ODJFS may count some weeks of disability leave, other employer authorized leave, or active duty in a reserve status as part of the 26 weeks.
      • In most cases, the worker must have exhausted all rights to state or any other federal unemployment compensation benefits.
      • The worker must be enrolled in TAA approved training or issues a written training waiver by the 26th week after the most recent qualifying separation from adversely affected employment or by the 26th week after the certification date of the petition, whichever is later.
      • The worker must be registered for work with the ODJFS electronic job matching system, for job placement assistance. 

      Can Trade Adjustment Allowances approved training be waived?
      Under certain circumstances, eligible workers may be waived from participating in training and still receive Basic Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA). One of the following conditions must exist for training to be determined not feasible or appropriate, and thus, potentially waived:

      • Training not available-No training program is available at a reasonable cost or no funds are available
      • Enrollment unavailable-Immediate enrollment is not available
      • Health-The worker is unable to participate in or complete training due to personal circumstances such as health problems. However, the worker still must be able and available for work to receive benefits. 

      Note: Waivers must be reviewed every 30 days. It is the responsibility of the affected worker to ensure that they meet with their assigned Trade Delivery Professional within the waiver’s 30 day time-frame. Additional TRA is not payable during the waiver period; the worker must be in training.
          
      What are the specific criteria under which a waiver of training can be granted?
      To receive weekly Trade Readjustment Allowances benefits under the Trade Act of 2015, a worker must be enrolled in a training program or have been issued a waiver of training. Enrollment must occur no later than the last day of the 26th week after the week in which the worker's most recent total separation from adversely affected employment, or the last day of the 26th week after a certification is issued (known as the "26/26 Rule").
         
      To receive weekly Trade Readjustment Allowances benefits under the Reversion 2021, a worker must be enrolled in a training program or have been issued a waiver of training. Enrollment must occur no later than the last day of the 8th week after a certification is issued or the last day of the 16th week after the week in which the worker's most recent total separation from adversely affected employment, (known as the "8/16 Rule").
         
      Training is provided to affected workers who do not have the skills to secure suitable employment in the existing labor market. Training is targeted to a specific occupation and provided to help certified workers secure employment at a skill level similar to or higher than their layoff employment, and to help workers sustain that employment at the best wage available.

         
      Based on the individual's existing skills and labor market conditions, training will be of the shortest duration necessary to return the individual to employment as quickly as possible. The maximum duration is 130 weeks.

      Only ONE training plan per individual per approved certification.
         
      Remedial Training – Training in the basic skills that every worker must have in order to achieve re-employability which includes English as a Second Language (ESOL). Remedial training should lead to the occupational, On-The-Job (OTJ) or customized training that will equip the participant with specific job skills 

      • Vocational Training – Short-term classroom training
      • Academic Training – Long-term classroom training 
      • On-The-Job Training – Training provided to an individual while working for an employer
      • State-Certified Apprenticeship – Classroom training or distance learning that teaches high-level skills for today’s workforce while the individual earns a living.

      Workers eligible for cash benefits through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers and Fishermen program are eligible for training through the Trade program. For detailed information on Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers and Fishermen visit the USDA website.

      What is the duration and timeline of a training waiver?
      An initial waiver can be approved for a maximum of six months.

      What does it mean to be enrolled in training?
      To be enrolled in training means that the worker's application for training has been approved by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and that the training institution has furnished written notice to the ODJFS Trade Section that the worker has been accepted into the approved program beginning within 30 days of approval.


      Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)

      What is Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)?
      RTAA is an alternative assistance program for certified workers ages 50 and older. It offers a wage subsidy to help bridge the salary gap between the old and new employment. RTAA is Specific for workers eligible under Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act (TAARA) 2015.
         
      What’s the benefit of Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance?
      RTAA has a maximum benefit of up to $10,000 over a period of up to two years. In addition to the wage subsidy, the RTAA program provides a health coverage tax credit and may provide relocation allowances. Once a worker received a wage subsidy under the RTAA program, he or she may not receive TRA weekly benefits.
            
      What are the eligibility requirements for Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance?

      • To be eligible for RTAA, worker must meet the following requirements:
      • Be at least age 50 at the time of re-employment
      • Work full-time unless also enrolled in a TAA- approved training and employed at least 20 hours a week
      • Earn less than $50,000 a year in reemployment

      What’s the application process for Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance?
      You have up to two years to file and receive RTAA benefits after a certification is issued.
         
      Workers who are receiving TRA may choose to switch to RTAA if they qualify. However, after you receive an RTAA payment, you cannot go back to TRA.
         
          
      Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)
          
      What is Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)?
      ATAA is a wage supplement for workers age 50 and older. It offers a wage subsidy to help bridge the salary gap between the old and new employment. ATAA is specific for workers eligible under Reversion 2021 (R2021) petitions.
         
      What’s the benefit of Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)?
      ATAA has a maximum benefit of up to $10,000 over a period of up to two years. In addition to the wage subsidy, the ATAA program provides a health coverage tax credit and may provide relocation allowances.
          
      What are the eligibility requirements for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)?
      To be eligible for ATAA, worker must meet the following requirements:

      • Be at least age 50 at the time of re-employment
      • Work full-time
      • Earn less than $50,000 a year in reemployment
      • Once a worker receives TRA, training, or a job search allowance, they are ineligible for ATAA.
      • ATAA cannot be combined with training   

      What’s the application process for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)?
      You must be reemployed within 26 weeks from separation or from date petition is certified, whichever is later.
          
           
      Appeal Rights
          
      What are the appeal rights for Trade Adjustment Assistance and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance services and benefits?
      All Trade Adjustment Assistance and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance services and benefits have different deadlines and individual eligibility criteria. Affected workers must meet the criteria under each benefit to receive that benefit.
         
      If affected workers are dissatisfied with the determinations of their individual applications for re-employment services or benefits, they have the same appeal rights as those provided under their state unemployment insurance law. The determination notice that certified workers receive after filing their applications for each benefit will explain their appeal rights and specify time limits for filing appeals.
        
         
      Additional Information
         
      W
      here can I find Trade Adjustment Assistance statutes and regulations?
      Statutes   

      • The Trade Act of 1974, P.L. 93-618, has been amended many times since its enactment in January 1975. The most recent amendments, those beginning in 2002, have resulted in major changes to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers program (TAA Program). The TAA benefits available to eligible workers, who may apply through their local American Job Center, will vary depending on whether the workers are covered by the provisions of the Trade Act enacted in 2002 (TAARA or the 2002 Program); 2009 (TGAAA or the 2009 Program); 2011 (TAAEA or the 2011 Program); 2015 (TAARA 2015 or the 2015 Program); or 2021 Reversion (2021 Reversion Program)
      • Detailed information for the statues can be found here:
        Statutes | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)

      Regulations  

      • Trade Adjustment Assistance under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended; Code of Federal Regulations, 20 CFR § 618.100.
      • The Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) Program was established with the goal of helping each worker participating in the program obtain suitable employment whenever possible, and to return to employment as quickly as possible. 
      • The electronic code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) - allows you to find rule text by the citation 

        Is there a U.S. Department of Labor web site with additional information?
        Workers who do not qualify for Trade Adjustment Assistance re-employment services and benefits may be eligible for services under the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker Program: National Dislocated Worker Grants | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov), or for additional re-employment assistance: Employment Services | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov). Assistance can also be provided through a local OhioMeansJobs center. Workers can find the Ohio Means Jobs Center closest to them by calling 1-877-US2-JOBS toll-free, 1-877-889-5627 (TTY), or by using America's Service Locator (OhioMeansJobs center).