Trade Adjustment Assistance
Under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, workers whose employment is adversely affected by increased imports may be eligible for benefits to help them prepare for and obtain suitable employment. TAA benefits may include training, testing, counseling, a job search allowance, and a relocation allowance. TAA benefits also include either a Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)* (effective December 2002) or health insurance premium assistance for those individuals participating in approved TAA training or those who are receiving a training waiver. The health insurance premium assistance program will pay the private insurance carrier 65% of qualified health insurance premiums when the individual pays the other 35%. In addition, weekly Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) may be payable to eligible workers following their exhaustion of unemployment benefits. Usually, TRA benefits will be paid only if an individual is enrolled in an approved training program.
*NOTE: Internal Revenue Form 8887 will be issued in January to notify potentially eligible claimants that they may qualify for HCTC. An individual may qualify for a tax credit for 65% of qualifying premium payments when he or she pays 100%.
Beginning August 6, 2003, petitioners filing a Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) may also request consideration for the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program for older workers.
The ATAA program offers benefits to eligible individuals who are over the age of 50 and who obtain new employment within 26 weeks of their separation. The ATAA program provides a wage subsidy (50% of the difference between the old wage and the new wage) to help bridge the salary gap between the eligible individual's old and new employment. The program was designed to provide assistance to workers for whom the retraining offered under the regular TAA program may not be appropriate.
In order for any of the workers in the petitioning worker group to be eligible for ATAA, a request for ATAA consideration must be filed at the same time as the TAA petition is filed. If the worker group is certified as eligible to apply for TAA and ATAA, individuals will have the option of applying for benefits under either the TAA program or the ATAA program. Once a worker chooses to apply for and receives ATAA benefits, the worker will not be able to collect TAA benefits. However, the ATAA participant can still be eligible for the following specific TAA benefits: the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and a relocation allowance.
For more information on the ATAA program, please visit your local One-Stop Career Center and speak to the Trade Act Representative in the Job Service or call (609) 292-9442.
Filing a Petition for TAA and ATAA
If the U.S. Department of Labor has already certified your employer as a company affected by foreign competition, you will be notified to apply for TAA or ATAA benefits.
If your employer has not been certified and you believe that you lost your job due to foreign imports, you may do the following. You and two other affected workers from your company can file a Trade Act petition to request the U.S. Department of Labor to determine if your employer should be certified for the TAA and ATAA programs. Complete Form NJES-930, which is available at your local One-Stop Career Center, or click here to download. Return the completed form to:
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Attn: Trade Act Unit – 2nd Floor
PO Box 058
Trenton NJ 08625-0058
Telephone number: (609) 292-1203
The Trade Act Unit will forward the petition to the U.S. Department of Labor to determine whether imported products competing with the ones produced by your employer were an important factor leading to your unemployment. If the employer is certified, you and all affected employees will be notified to apply for TAA benefits.