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Trade Act Programs
 
The Trade Act allows workers whose jobs have been affected by foreign competition to receive a variety of benefits and reemployment services. The goal of the Trade Act is to assist dislocated workers in obtaining suitable (family-sustaining) employment from a combination of reemployment services and possibly training.
 
The first step is for an employer, three workers, union representative, or community representative to complete a trade petition. The trade petition is available at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/DownloadPetitions.cfm.  The petition must be properly completed and filed with the US Department of Labor (USDOL) and the appropriate State agency.  In PA, the unit responsible for receiving Trade petitions is the Federal Programs unit (Fax: 717-772-0378).  However, the USDOL determines Trade eligibility for each petition.
 
After you have filed a petition, you can check the USDOL's petition search page at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa/taa_search_form.cfm.  If you have questions about a pending petition, please call the USDOL at 1-888-365-6822.
 
The benefits for workers under the Trade Act include training, job search and relocation allowances, Alternative and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA/RTAA), Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), and Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) income support. All of these benefits have certain deadlines and eligibility requirements.
 
Training for eligible individuals include basic skills, GED, prerequisite, apprenticeship, occupational, and on the job training (OJT).
 
Job search and relocation allowances allow for eligible individuals to look for and obtain suitable employment outside of their normal commuting area, when suitable employment is not available within their normal commuting area.
 
The Alternative and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA/RTAA) programs allow older workers (at least 50 years of age) to obtain new employment and receive a wage subsidy which pays 50% of the difference between their previous employment and the new employment.
 
The Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership's Trade Coordination Services (TCS) unit is responsible for interpretation and enforcement portions of the Trade Act in PA. Questions about TAA benefits (training, job search and relocation allowances, and Alternative and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA/RTAA)), please contact TCS at 717-783-8050.
 
Another benefit, Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA), extends income support to allow workers to complete training or support them while they look for suitable employment.
 
The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) assists displaced workers with a tax credit to obtain affordable medical coverage.  This currently pays 80% of monthly insurance premiums for qualified insurance plans while an individual is receiving TRA or ATAA/RTAA benefits.  For general information about HCTC, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website at www.irs.gov and Search for "HCTC".
 
Questions specific to HCTC and/or TRA in PA, please contact the Federal Programs unit at 717-787-4268.
 
In order to be eligible for these benefits, a potentially eligible worker must a TAA/TRA claim in the State where they established UC-eligibility from the certified employer.  In PA, the worker must contact the Unemployment Compensation (UC) Service Center at 1-888-313-7284, and request to speak to the Trade unit. 
 
After you have been determined eligible for TAA benefits, you should also contact your local PA CareerLink.  Local PA CareerLinks can be found by referring to www.dli.state.pa.us and selecting the "Services Near You" option in the bottom-right portion of the website.
 
For more information on the Trade Act, please click on the link below to be re-directed to the U.S. Department of Labor's website.
 
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