Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is a federal entitlement program that assists US workers who have lost or may lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade. This program seeks to provide adversely affected workers with opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed.
If a worker is a member of a worker group certified by USDOL, that worker may be eligible to receive the following benefits and services:
- Training: classroom training, on the-job training, or customized training designed to meet the needs of a specific employer or group of employers, apprenticeship programs, and more
- Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA): income support available in the form of weekly cash payments to workers who are enrolled in a full-time training course and have exhausted their unemployment insurance
- Job search allowance: reimbursement for costs of seeking employment outside of the worker’s commuting area
- Relocation allowance: reimbursement for relocation costs for employment outside of the worker’s commuting area
- Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) and Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA): a wage subsidy for up to two years that is available to reemployed older workers and covers a portion of the difference between a worker’s new wage and their old wage (up to a specified maximum amount)
- Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC): a tax credit to help pay the costs of health insurance
A group of workers may be eligible for TAA if their jobs are lost or threatened due to trade related circumstances as determined by the USDOL investigation. These circumstances may include:
- Increased imports
- A shift in operations to certain countries
- Supply or downstream production to certain companies with TAA-certified workers
The first step to receiving TAA benefits and services is to file a petition online or by mail with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). A petition identifies a worker group at a specific firm or subdivision and covers all individuals in that group. Generally, if a worker is laid off, a petition must be submitted within one year of the layoff for that worker to be covered by the petition and the certification if USDOL grants the petition. An individual from one of the following groups may submit a petition:
- Groups of three or more workers in the same firm or subdivision
- Company officials
- State workforce officials
- One-Stop Career Centers
- Other state agencies and providers such as Rapid Response and Unemployment Insurance
Upon receiving a petition, USDOL initiates an investigation to determine whether the circumstances of the layoff meet the group eligibility criteria established by the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. After the investigation, USDOL determines group eligibility to apply for TAA benefits and services. Workers in a certified group will be notified by the state, at which time they may apply for individual eligibility for benefits and services.
To submit an application online, or download one to submit by mail or fax, visit the US Department of Labor's site for TAA petitioners.
If you have a question about your training, please contact the Trade Adjustment Assistance Unit (TAA) at the email address below. Be sure to provide your full name and your TAA petition number if you have one. Email is the preferred and best way to contact the unit.
If you have a question about your weekly income support payments (TRA), please contact the Trade Adjustment Assistance Unit (TRA) at the email below. Be sure to provide your full name and your TAA petition number. Please attach any necessary documents such as a copy of your Bi-Weekly form so that someone can assist. Email is the preferred and best way to contact the unit.
For general inquiries about the program, please complete our online services request form here.
- It will take approximately 40 days for USDOL to make a decision.
- After a company has been certified by USDOL as being impacted by foreign trade, then the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Trade Act Unit will set up a Trade Act orientation to explain your benefits to you.
- You will also complete a New Jersey Trade Act Application for Benefits at the orientation. This form must be completed before receiving any benefits.
You need to call the number listed on the orientation. Orientation is necessary for a program that offers so many components. Some of the benefits have deadlines that you need to be aware of, so you will need to reschedule.
Questions to ask yourself before you enroll in training:
- You will need to wait until you receive your Trade Act Entitlement Letter before you can actually receive any benefits, but it is a good idea to begin your research on how to make yourself more marketable.
- Do I need additional training in order to become re-employed or am I already marketable?
- Do I need to change my career path? Or is my career still an in-demand occupation?
- What type of re-training do I need? Vocational? Remedial? Certificate? License? College degree?
You need to contact your TAA representative as soon as possible so that you can decide on your re-training goals.
Please contact your TAA representative by email and allow a few days for a response. If you do not hear back, please complete our online services request form here.
A list of potential training providers and programs can be found on the Eligible Training Provider Listing (ETPL). We cannot approve a training if it is not on this website. All training approvals must be approved by your TAA representative prior to the start of training.
The maximum number of weeks you can be in a training program is 130 weeks. This does not include school breaks.
You must be enrolled in training within 26 weeks of your separation date or your employer's Trade Act certification date—whichever date is later.
You may still be considered for training, but you are no longer eligible to receive the TRA weekly benefits once you have missed your enrollment deadline.
No, but you will not be eligible for TRA if you are not enrolled in a full-time training or covered under a training waiver by the enrollment deadline.
You need to contact your TAA representative as soon as possible. If you drop or add classes on your own they will not be approved or paid for.
- Part-time employment is allowed while attending full-time training.
- If full-time employment is obtained, training will normally not be approved or will be terminated. There are certain exceptions—you should discuss the specific details with your TAA representative.
- Workers enrolled in Trade Act-approved training are not required to seek or accept employment while participating in training.
- If you are approved to attend Trade Act training, the approval is based, in part, on a finding that there is no suitable employment available to you and no reasonable prospect of obtaining suitable employment in the foreseeable future.
- If eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) or Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA), while participating in approved training, you are relieved of the job-seeking obligations required of other workers filing for UI and TRA; you may instead devote your attention to completing your approved training program.
Trade Act training is intended to expedite your return to suitable employment. As a result, there may be implications if you accept employment during training and achieve the goal of the program earlier than expected. You must report any employment to your Trade Act counselor because work obtained during training may affect your eligibility for Trade Act benefits.
- If you have a question about your weekly income support payments (TRA), please contact the Trade Adjustment Assistance Unit (TRA). Be sure to provide your full name and your Trade Act petition number. Email is the preferred and best way to contact the unit.
- If you need a bi-weekly form while on a waiver, please fill out the Mail Certification Work Search Record and send it to the TRA Unit.
- If you need a bi-weekly form while in school, please fill out the Biweekly Request for Allowances by Worker in Training, Trade Act of 1974 and send it to the TRA Unit.
No, training is limited to one training program, per person, per certification.