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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)

John J. Topoleski
Analyst in Income Security

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) provides assistance to qualifying workers who lose their jobs directly due to increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States. Certified workers whose unemployment compensation has ended and who are in approved training may receive income support payments (Trade Readjustment Allowances, or TRA) for a maximum of 156 weeks. Some workers aged 50 or older are eligible to receive Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), a wage supplement program. Both TAA- and ATAA-eligible workers can receive a Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which provides a refundable tax credit to offset 80% of their health insurance premiums.

This report provides background on the TAA and ATAA programs, including a description of the eligibility for these programs and benefits available to participants. It also describes the main changes to the TAA program with the reauthorization and expansion of TAA in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. The changes made by ARRA were to expire on December 31, 2010. H.R. 6517, the Omnibus Trade Act of 2010, extended the changes made by ARRA though February 12, 2011. H.R. 6517 passed the House and the Senate on December 22, 2010. Petitions for TAA that were filed from May 19, 2009, through February 14, 2011, were considered under the ARRA amendments. Workers who are covered by petitions filed from May 19, 2009, through February 14, 2011, receive the benefits and services provided under the ARRA amendments. Petitions for TAA filed on or after February 15, 2011, are considered under the pre- ARRA program. Workers who are covered by petitions filed on or after February 15, 2011, receive the benefits and services of the TAA program prior to the ARRA amendments.

Date of Report: May 5, 2011
Number of Pages: 15
Order Number: RS22718
Price: $29.95

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