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TAA Program Benefits and Services under the 2009 Amendments

TAA offers a variety of benefits and services to support workers in their search for reemployment. This includes Trade Readjustment Allowances, training, assistance with healthcare premium costs, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, and job search and relocation allowances.

Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)
Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) are available to continue to provide income support while you are participating in full-time training. The amount of each weekly TRA payment is based on the weekly unemployment insurance (UI) benefit amount you already have received. You must have been entitled to receive UI benefits before you may receive TRA and you must have exhausted your UI entitlement

There are three types of TRA: Basic TRA, Additional TRA, and Remedial TRA.

    1. Basic TRA is payable if you are enrolled or participating in TAA-approved training, have completed training, or have obtained a waiver of the training requirement. The total amount of Basic TRA available will be calculated by multiplying your UI weekly benefit amount by 52 and subtracting the total sum of UI received. Therefore, if you have already received at least 52 weeks of UI generally you will not be eligible to receive any Basic TRA. You may still receive basic TRA even if you are not in training, if you obtain a waiver of the training requirement from your State. Waivers may be issued if:
      1. You will be recalled to work reasonably soon;
      2. You have marketable skills for suitable employment and a reasonable expectation of employment in the foreseeable future;
      3. You are within two years of eligibility for your pension or social security;
      4. You are unable to participate in or complete training due to a health condition;
      5. You are unable to enroll in a training program because no enrollment in training is available within 60 days; or if
      6. You are unable to enroll in a training program because there is no training program available in which you can enroll.
    2. Additional TRA is payable only if you are participating in TAA-approved training and have exhausted all rights to Basic TRA. Additional TRA may be payable for up to an additional 78 weeks after the exhaustion of Basic TRA or after the period for Basic TRA eligibility during which you received UI, but only if you are enrolled in an approved training program.
    3. Remedial TRA (an additional period of up to 26 weeks of income support) is payable only if you are required to take remedial education or prerequisite coursework as part of your TAA-approved training program. You may only receive Remedial TRA after the exhaustion of Additional TRA, if remedial education or prerequisite coursework is needed to complete a TAA-approved training program.

Allowable types of training include: classroom training, on the-job training, customized training designed to meet the needs of a specific employer or group of employers, apprenticeship programs, post secondary education, prerequisite education or coursework and remedial education, which may include GED preparation, literacy training, basic math, or English as a Second Language. The cost of training is paid to the training provider by the State with TAA Program funds.

Training may be approved on a full-time or part-time basis, although full-time training is required in order to meet TRA eligibility requirements. Workers covered by a certification may enroll in a TAA-approved training program when they are still working but have been threatened with a lay-off.

To receive training paid for under this program, you must meet the following six criteria:

    1. No suitable employment is available.
    2. The worker would benefit from appropriate training.
    3. A reasonable expectation of employment following completion of training exists.
    4. Training is reasonable available.
    5. You are to undertake and complete such training.
    6. Training is available at a reasonable cost.
Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)
See IRS website for information regarding HCTC.

Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)
These benefits are available if you are age 50 or older and you do not earn more than $55,000 annually in your new employment. If you qualify, participation in RTAA allows you to receive a wage supplement when you accept new employment at a lower wage.

RTAA payments may total 50% of the difference between the old and new wages, with a maximum of $12,000 paid over a period of up to two years. If you are receiving RTAA, you also are entitled to receive employment and case management services and the HCTC, and you may be eligible to enroll in TAA-approved training. Workers may qualify for RTAA when working part-time, employed at least 20 hours a week, and participating in a TAA-approved training program. You may choose between receiving TRA or RTAA (even if you have received some TRA payments), but you may not receive both payments concurrently or receive TRA after receiving a wage supplement.

Case Management and Employment Services
This additional set of services offered by your state include:
  1. Comprehensive assessments of skill levels and service needs
  2. Development of an individual employment plan (IEP) to identify employment goals and objectives
  3. Information on available training and counseling, and how to apply for financial aid
  4. Short-term prevocational services, such as development of learning skills, communications skills, interviewing skills, etc.
  5. Individual career counseling
  6. Provision of employment statistics relating to relevant market areas
Job Search Allowances
This monetary benefit is available to cover necessary expenses incurred while seeking employment outside your normal commuting area, if employment in a good job, where you are likely to remain employed and earn family-sustaining wages is not available in your area. Job search allowances reimburse 100% of the costs of allowable travel and subsistence, up to a maximum of $1,500. 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.

Relocation Allowances

This monetary benefit is available to reimburse you for approved expenses when you must move to a new area to earn family-sustaining wages in employment outside of your normal commuting area. Relocation allowances may include 100% of the reasonable and necessary expenses involved in moving you, your family, and household goods to a new area following your re-employment outside of your normal commuting area. In addition, you may receive a lump sum payment equal to three times your average weekly wage, up to a maximum payment of $1,500. You must submit an application for a relocation allowance before your relocation begins, and within 425 days of your layoff or certification (whichever is later) or within 182 days after the conclusion of training.

Appeal Rights for Benefits and Services

All TAA benefits have different deadlines and individual eligibility criteria. Once certified, you must meet the criteria for each benefit to receive that benefit. If you are dissatisfied with the decisions on your individual application for TAA benefits, you have the same appeal rights as those provided under your state's UI law. The written notice that you receive after filing your applications for each benefit will explain your appeal rights and time limits for filing appeals under state law. For state contact information, please click here.

Other Training Opportunities and Reemployment Services

Rapid Response Assistance - Rapid Response assistance is provided by the Dislocated Worker Unit in the state where you were laid off to groups of workers on whose behalf a petition is filed. Rapid Response staff will make employees aware of the different services available to workers after a layoff, and if provided before a petition is filed, will include information on the process of petitioning for certification under the TAA program. Learn more about Rapid Response.

Also if you do not qualify for TAA benefits, you may be eligible for services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Dislocated Worker program or other programs accessible through your local American Job Center.

Contact Information 
United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N-5428
Washington, DC 20210 
Phone: 202-693-3560 or 1-888-DOL-OTAA (1-888-365-6822)
Fax: 202-693-3584 or 3585
Web site:
American Job Center Locator
ETA Toll-Free Helpline - (877) US-2JOBS (877) 889-5627 (TTY)