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​Trade Adjustment Assistance & COVID-19 FAQs

The Trade Adjustment Assistance program services may have been impacted by COVID-19. The below frequently asked questions provide information and guidance for program participants and training providers.

PARTICIPANTS

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Will I still receive my Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) if my classes have been suspended?

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​​Communication with your training provider and the PA CareerLink® staff is extremely important.

If your school has not determined when classes will resume or classes will not resume within 30 days, your TRA benefits may be affected.

You will need to document work searches if your break exceeds 30 days.

Please refer to your Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 handbook.

My training start date changed from March 16 to April. How will this affect me?

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​There are measures in place to assure Trade affected workers meet their training enrollment deadline.

If all criteria are met, an “Enrollment Unavailable” waiver can be applied to secure your benefits.

​​What if I or my child become ill and I cannot begin Trade training?

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​There are measures in place to assure Trade affected workers meet their training enrollment deadline.

If all criteria are met, a “Health” waiver can be applied to secure your benefits.

What if I was due to start training but the school canceled the training program?

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There are measures in place to assure Trade affected workers meet their training enrollment deadline.

If all criteria are met, a “Training Unavailable” waiver can be applied to secure your benefits.

Your Career Advisor from the PA CareerLink® office will contact you via email with instructions on your next steps.

I had an appointment scheduled at the PA CareerLink® with my Career Advisor but now the office is closed. How do I continue with my services?

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​Many of the Trade services can be provided remotely.

It is important that your current email address is listed in your PA CareerLink® account.

Your Career Advisors will email information and instructions to help you navigate through the required steps.

I received mileage reimbursements to attend my training program that was 60 miles away from my home. All my classes are now online, and I do not want to face an overpayment. What should I do?

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Constant communication with your Career Advisor is important.

If you are not in contact with your Career Advisor, email Fiscal Operations at RA-LIWDA-FISCALOPS@pa.gov.

Because you are no longer traveling to the training program, you will not receive the transportation payments.

If you receive a payment for a week you did not travel, please email Fiscal Operations immediately.

My school canceled classes for two weeks. Will I still receive my TRA benefits?

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​Please refer to your Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 handbook.

What impact does COVID-19 have on my TAA training and can my end date be revised?

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​If your training end date is affected by the school’s adjusted schedule, Trade Act Services can modify your Trade training plan.

Keep in mind that Pennsylvania must comply with the maximum 130 training weeks as mandated in Trade Adjustment Assistance federal guidance.

What should I do if I have not received my Trade Determination Letter and I am not getting a response from Unemployment Compensation’s TRA unit?

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Contact the UC Service Center at 1-888-313-7284 (Option 4).

If you cannot reach anyone or continue to get a busy signal, call 412-267-3255 and leave a message. Someone will return your call.

Will the 26-week deadline be extended?

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​As with normal business, Career Advisors should request waivers on behalf of the participant by completing the waiver template and emailing the template to the Trade resource account.

What should I do if I am unable to complete the required process to enter training due to PA CareerLink® offices being closed?

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​It is the goal of Trade Act Services and the Career Advisors to continue providing reemployment services to Trade affected workers.

All communication and verification of documents will be done via email.

Experienced TAA program staff are available during normal business hours to answer any questions to ensure you meet the criteria for services in a timely manner.

​I have not received my UC (or TRA) payment. What should I do?

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There could be various reasons a claimant has not received the UC/TRA benefit, requiring the work of several units to resolve the issue.

Career Advisors and Trade Act Services Unit are not permitted to answer TRA questions.

Refer the claimant to the UC/TRA toll-free number and notify Trade Act Services.

Do I have the option of changing training programs/providers so that I can receive instruction online and receive TRA?

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​Trade participants are entitled to only one training program under a single certification.

I am unable to complete the required internship/externship due to COVID-19. Will I be able to graduate?

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​If there is a disruption in your internship/externship, participants should contact their school advisor.

I submit my paystubs for RTAA through the PA CareerLink® office. Since it is closed, what other means may I use if I don’t have access to a scanner or fax machine?

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​Trade participants can take a picture of the full pay stub on their cell phone and email it to the RTAA resource account at RA-LIOUCBP-FEDP-ATAA@pa.gov.

Other options to consider are asking the employer to fax the paystub or have the paystub faxed by a local Target, Staples, or grocery store.

The RTAA fax number is 717-772-0378.

How do I submit my attendance form to the TRA unit if my training is currently suspended and the instructor is unable to complete the form?

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Trade Act Services have identified participants who are unable to continue with their skills enhancement classes.

The Unemployment Compensation Service Center’s TRA unit has been notified of these individuals.

Please continue to file your biweekly TRA claims.

Will I still be able to collect my UC, Basic TRA, Additional TRA, and Completion TRA if I am not in school due to closure or program switched to distance learning?

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​Please refer to your Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 handbook.

If you have questions about your TRA payments, you may also contact the UC Service Center 1-888-313-7284 (Option 4).

If you cannot reach anyone or continue to get a busy signal, call 412-267-3255 and leave a message. Someone will return your call.

How do I contact my PA CareerLink® Career Advisor?

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Participants may communicate with their Career Advisor via email.

It is important that you have a valid email address listed in your PA CareerLink® account.

If your Career Advisor has not been in touch with you, please email the Trade Resource Account at RA-LI-BWPO-TRADE@pa.gov.

Will I still receive subsistence and mileage payments?

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​Subsistence payments will continue for participants who are still residing at their temporary address.

Transportation payments will resume when the participant commences the travel to classroom training.

Transportation payments will not be paid for distance learning.

​I am eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and currently receiving UC benefits.  I will soon request to attend a training program at my local community college.  If UC waived the work search requirements, why is my Career Advisor asking me for proof of a job search?

​Due to COVID-19, UC claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits.  The temporary suspension of this rule applies to the UC program in Pennsylvania.  Requesting a service under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program has separate eligibility requirements that have not been waived due to COVID-19.  The guidance we have received from the federal department of labor indicates there are no flexibilities in the TAA program and all criteria must be met when requesting a TAA service. 

 

TRAINING PROVIDERS

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​I do not have remote access to CWDS during the closure of our school. I am unable to enter attendance or complete training applications for TAA students.

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Training providers should continue to send all communication to the Trade Resource Account RA-LI-BWPO-TRADE@pa.gov.

Trade Act Services is fully functional and able to assist with participant attendance records and training applications.

What will happen with the 2020 Trade Master Agreement (TMA) submissions? Will the time be extended due to COVID-19?

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​The Bureau of Workforce Development Administration’s Grants Services unit is currently considering all methods of delivery of the TMA.

Although the new agreement is ready for regular mail distribution, it can be sent via email if necessary.