Trade Adjustment Assistance Program to Provide Needed Help To Displaced Workers
Although a job loss can be a very stressful experience, it can open up some new and exciting opportunities for displaced workers. The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program was designed in the 1960s to help workers impacted by a job loss due to foreign trade policies. It is a federally funded program that helps support training, health insurance, job search and much more. TAA has a lot of great benefits to a displaced worker, however, they must navigate the numerous programs closely as there are guidelines and deadlines that if not followed properly could exclude them from the benefits. For example, they must file for all training programs within 26 weeks from the TAA certification date.
Training for their new career is a long term training plan that will not exceed 130 weeks and is a one-time opportunity but will be available for a lifetime. It may include ‘on the job, remedial, vocational, technical, trade-related, community college, or college programs. Allowable costs include: tuition, books, tools, fees, and a transportation allowance. Training funding caps are established by the states.’ A caseworker will be assigned to each eligible worker to work closely with them through this process
While training for a new job, TAA provides income (unemployment) and training for up to 130 weeks through the Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA.) For workers over the age of 50, the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance is available (ATAA). ‘This payment is made to the worker and will be made until the worker has received a total of $10,000 or a period of 2 years has passed since the first qualifying reemployment, or until the worker’s reemployment income is expected to reach the $50,000 annual limit, whichever comes first. Workers who choose to receive ATAA benefits forfeit eligibility for TAA job search allowances and TRA cash benefits.’
The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) will cover 72.5% of the premium for qualified health insurance coverage. Eligible plans are individuals that are paying more than 50% of there premiums through COBRA or a Spousal Coverage plan or a State Qualified Plan.
TAA recipients covers 90% of most job search cost with a maximum benefit of $1,250. All benefits must be claimed by the 365th day of certification or by the 182nd day following TAA approved training.
They must make sure work closely with their caseworker, advisor and other qualified counselors to ensure that they receive all of the benefits and have a good understanding of the programs offered to ensure that they maximize everything. To ensure they maximize the program, be sure to sign up for all eligible benefits as they are not obligated to use everything.
1 – www.TAAHelps.org
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