|Understanding the Trade Adjustment Act
Trade Adjustment Assistance commonly referred to as TAA is a Federally Funded program that is designed to assist workers whose jobs have been lost because their positions have been relocated outside of the United States. Individuals who become TAA certified may be able to receive one or more of the benefits offered through the TAA program.
To access TAA benefits, a petition must be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Trade Adjustment Assistance by a group of workers. These workers must demonstrate that they were negatively impacted by foreign trade. Once certified, each worker can then follow up with their local One-Stop Career Centers. These centers serve as the base of operations for caseworkers who can assist in obtaining the benefits of the TAA program. Your local One-Stop Center can be located by calling 1-877-US2-JOBS. This is a toll free number.
There are multiple benefits that may be accessed by TAA certified individuals. The following provides some basic information about these benefits:
Rapid Response Assistance – this is a service that is provided to all groups that file a petition to become TAA certified. Essentially this service serves as an information resource to these workers letting them know about the types of services that may be available to them. They also explain the steps that must be followed to access the benefits.
Reemployment Services – This service assists workers in trying to find alternate employment. In the event that alternate employment cannot be found assistance is also provided in indentifying a suitable area of training that would help the individual become better positioned to obtain gainful employment.
Job Search Allowances – in certain situations individuals may be able to have a portion of their job search expenses reimbursed. This is often contingent on there being a lack of a suitable job in the immediate area. The job search allowance would therefore reimburse a portion of travel and other costs related to expanding the geographic area of the job search. This allowance typically has specific requirements relating to timing and applicability. It is wise to find out the details from your One-Stop counselor before incurring such expenses if you plan to seek reimbursement.
Relocation Allowances – this goes beyond the Job Search Allowance and covers situations where someone needs to relocate to work at another location that is not in their normal commuting area. Again, this covers only a specific portion of the relocation expenses and there are timing requirements that must be met to qualify.
Training – this benefit is focused on certified individuals who are not able to secure a job with their current level or type of skills. Funding is made available to these individuals so that they can add or develop a new skill. Specific limitations apply to the type of training and the amount of funding that will be provided. Additionally the duration and the method of accessing the training may vary depending on location.
Income Support – this is usually referred to as Trade Readjustment Allowance or TRA. This benefit provides income support to individuals who are completing full time training. This is designed to make it feasible for individuals to focus on their training programs and not have to worry about their bills. There are specific eligibility requirements that apply.
Adapted from information obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor.