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What to Expect if your Job is Affected by Foreign Competition

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federal program that provides assistance to dislocated workers as a result of foreign trade. TAA helps retrain, retool, and rebuild the American workforce. Learn how you can apply and what to expect if your job has been affected by foreign competition using the helpful guide below.

1.  Submit a Petition Application

To participate in the TAA program a petition must be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance. A group of workers, an employer of a group of workers, a Union or a State Workforce official may file a petition application online.

File your Petition Application

2.  A Determination is made

The U.S. Department of Labor has the sole responsibility to determine if the criteria have been met and issues an official determination. An approved petition is ‘certified’ and generally covers all members of the worker group who are separated or threatened with separations. The petition certification provides a determination of eligibility to apply for the TAA program. The certification period begins on the impact date and ends 2 years after, unless stated otherwise.

Find your Petition Status

3. Invitation to Information Session

A Pennsylvania Rapid Response Coordinator will invite you to a Benefits Rights Interview (BRI) to learn about the services and benefits offered in the TAA program.

4. TAA/TRA Eligibility

Each worker receives instructions on how to apply for an individual determination of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program and income support, Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA), in the form of weekly cash payments to workers who are enrolled in full-time training.

The Unemployment Compensation Service Center (TRA Unit) will determine whether you meet all qualifying requirements for TAA and TRA. Notification of your Trade Determination will be mailed to you. 

5. Important Dates

Once you are determined eligible for TAA, contact your local PA CareerLink® immediately. There are important deadlines that you must meet when applying for each service. PA CareerLink® or L&I staff will supply you with TAA benefit information that explains these deadlines and can guide you through each step.

DO NOT WAIT! Make sure you meet the following deadlines: 

    • Enroll in TAA approved training within 26 weeks after Certification or Separation (whichever is later)
    • Apply for Job Search Allowance before the 365th day after Certification or Separation or the 182nd day after completion of training
    • Apply for Relocation Allowance before the 425th day after Certification or Separation or the 182nd day after completion of training

Time limits are based on the 2015 TAA program amendments

6. PA CareerLink® Case Management Services

Trade affected workers are assigned to a PA CareerLink® Career Advisor who will walk you through the necessary steps to obtain TAA services and benefits. Our services will help you return to suitable employment as quickly as possible.

Your assigned career advisor will help you create an individual employment plan that can include: 

    • Career and Training Guidance
    • Individualized Employment Plan
    • Workshops
    • Labor Market Information
    • Referral to Supportive Services
    • Skills Assessment

7. Program Benefits and Services

    • Training – up to 130 weeks of classroom/online training in Occupational skills, Adult Basic Education, GED, Registered Apprenticeship or up to 104 weeks in OJT (On-the-job) training. 
    • Job Search Allowance – Reimbursement for costs of seeking employment outside of the worker’s normal commuting area. 
    • Relocation Allowance – Reimbursement for relocation costs for employment outside of the worker’s normal commuting area. 
    • Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) – Workers age 50 or over who get reemployed full-time at a reduced salary and earn $50,000 or less each year may receive 50% wage subsidy for up to $10,000 over 2 years. 
    • Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) – Covers 72.5% of qualifying health insurance premium costs, administered by the Internal Revenue Service. 

You MUST apply individually for services and benefits at a PA CareerLink® location.