American Job Centers


Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)


If Imports Cost You Your Job . . . Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is a federal entitlement program established under the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002. The TAA Program provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports.

How do I apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance?

A Petition for TAA may be filed by a group of three or more workers, their union, a company official, the One Stop Administrator, or Dislocated Worker Unit. Petition forms may be obtained from the State Dislocated Worker Unit, online (download in MSWord format, 97KB, download Word viewer for free) or call (410) 767-2833.

Petitioners should complete and sign the petition and fax it to the State Dislocated Worker Unit at (410) 333-5064. If a petition is filed by a union or company official, only one petitioner signature is required. Otherwise, the petition must be signed by at least three workers.

How do you become eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)?

Petitions for TAA are filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). The Department of Labor has sole responsibility for conducting a fact finding investigation to determine whether group eligibility criteria have been met and issues an official notice of its decision no later than 40 days after receiving the petition.

What are the eligibility requirements for a petition to be certified?

In order for the U.S. Department of Labor to issue a Certification Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance, the following requirements must be met:

  1. that workers have been totally or partially laid off, and
  2. that sales or productions have declined, and
  3. that increased imports have contributed importantly to worker layoffs.

Once the U.S. Department of Labor issues a Certification Regarding Eligibility, trade affected workers may apply for benefits under the TAA program.

What program benefits are available through the Trade Act?

TRAINING - for employment in another job or career. Workers may receive up to 104 weeks of approved training in occupational skills, basic or remedial education, or training in literacy or English as a second language.

INCOME SUPPORT - known as TRADE READJUSTMENT ALLOWANCES (TRA) are weekly cash payment available for 52 weeks after a worker's unemployment compensation (UC) benefit is exhausted and during the period in which a worker is participating in an approved full-time training program. Income Support is a combination of UC and TRA benefits for a maximum of 104 weeks (26 weeks for UC and 78 weeks for TRA). Participants receiving Remedial Services may be eligible for up to 130 weeks of TRA.

JOB SEARCH ALLOWANCES - may be payable to cover expenses incurred in seeking employment outside your normal commuting area.

RELOCATION ALLOWANCES - provide reimbursement for approved expenses if you are successful in obtaining employment outside your normal commuting area for you to relocate to your new area of employment.

ALTERNATIVE TRADE ADJUSTMENT (ATAA) PROGRAM - The ATAA program includes additional benefits for petitions filed on or after August 6, 2003 that requested and were certified for ATAA. ATAA provides assistance to eligible Trade affected workers aged 50 or older who obtain new employment that pays less than their Trade affected employment.

Do workers have appeal rights for denied petitions?

Yes, Workers whose petitions for TAA are denied by the U.S. Department of Labor may request administrative reconsideration of the U.S. Department of Labor's finding within 30 days after publication of the final determination in the Federal Register.

The request for reconsideration must be in writing, including the name of the company, the TAA investigation number, and a description of the group of workers on whose behalf the petition was filed, and must cite specific reasons why the workers consider the decision to be in error, either according to the facts, the interpretation of the facts, or the law itself.

Requests for reconsideration should be mailed to the:

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
200 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Room C-4318
Washington, D.C. 20210
(202) 219-5555

Workers may also file an appeal seeking judicial review of the U.S. Department of Labor's negative determination or redetermination within 60 days of publication of the denial in the Federal Register. Appeals for judicial review must be filed with the:

Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of International Trade
One Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10007
(212) 264-7090

Getting Back to Work After a Trade-Related Layoff - Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 (PDF)