Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)/Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) FAQs
1. What are Trade Act benefits?
Trade Act benefits are federal funds used to help individuals who become unemployed as a result of foreign trade coming into the US markets or production being shifted to other foreign countries. The benefits are intended to assist individuals in returning to suitable employment. Some of the benefits available for qualified individuals are: Training, Job Search Allowances, Relocation Allowances, and Trade Readjustment Allowances (income support while in training).
2. When should a petition be filed?
Petitions for Trade Adjustment Assistance should be filed any time after worker separations or a threat of separations begins, but not later than one year after the earliest date on which workers lost their jobs with the employer. The Trade Act provides that a certification for TAA does not apply to any worker who was separated from the firm more than one year before the date the petition was filed.
3. I understand a petition is needed, but how do I file a trade petition?
You may file a petition for TAA by visiting the US DOL website where you may file a petition online:
A complete petition will enable US DOL to begin the investigation without additional delay. Please be sure that the information provided on the petition is printed clearly and is easy to read.
4. What are Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)?
Eligible individuals may receive weekly unemployment benefits called Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA). TRA benefits are paid after you have exhausted all rights to regular and federal unemployment compensation and meet the eligibility requirements.
5. Am I Eligible for TRA Benefits?
In general, to be eligible for TRA benefits, you:
must have worked for a certified trade affected employer for at least 26 weeks and have earned at least $30 in each of those weeks in the one year period prior to the layoff,
must meet the eligibility requirements for a regular unemployment claim,
must have a valid separation, and
must also be enrolled in a training course approved under TAA or, have an approved waiver from the enrollment requirement.
6. Do I qualify for Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)?
The Trade Act provides for a federal tax credit that pays a percentage of the health plan premium for TAA eligible individuals enrolled in qualified health plans. To qualify for the credit, individuals must be receiving TRA (or would be eligible to receive TRA except that their unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have not ended) and must be participating in a qualified health plan. For more information on HCTC, visit www.irs.gov/individuals
or call the HCTC Customer Contact Center toll-free 866-628-HCTC (866-628-4282). For information on enrolling in a state qualified health plan, contact the Trade Affected Assistance Bureau at 800-565-3234.
7. Where can I find more information on TRA?