Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) provides federal assistance to workers
who have been adversely affected by foreign trade. It was most recently
authorized by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011
(TAAEA; Title II of P.L. 112-40).
To be eligible for TAA, a group of workers must establish that they were
separated from their employment either because their jobs moved outside
the United States or because of an increase in directly competitive
imports. Workers at firms that are suppliers to or downstream producers of TAA-certified
firms may also be eligible for TAA benefits. Under current law, both production and
service workers are eligible for TAA.
After the Department of Labor verifies the role of foreign trade in the group’s
job losses, workers may apply for individual benefits. These benefits are
funded by the federal government and, with limited exception, administered
by the states.
• Reemployment services are available to assist trade-affected workers
in planning for and returning to employment. Training is the largest
reemployment service expense. Eligible training programs include a variety
of public and private options and may not exceed 104 weeks. In lieu of or
in addition to training, workers may receive employment services such as
case management, skills assessment, and job search assistance. Workers may
also receive allowances for job searches outside their local commuting
area and relocation expenses once a new job has been secured. Under
current law, annual expenditures on reemployment services are capped at
• Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) is an income support for
TAA-certified workers who have exhausted their unemployment insurance (UI)
and are enrolled in an eligible training program. TRA payments are equal
to the workers’ final UI benefit. Workers may receive UI and TRA for a
combined total of 117 weeks and 130 weeks under certain circumstances.
• Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) is available to
TAAcertified workers age 50 and over. This program supplements the wages
of eligible workers who secure new employment at a lower wage.
• A Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) is also available to TAA-certified workers.
This program offers a refundable tax credit equal to 72.5% of expenditures
on a qualified health plan. Unlike other TAA benefits, the HCTC is administered
through the federal tax code and not by state agencies.
Eligibility and benefits for TAA are scheduled to be reduced beginning on
January 1, 2014. The program will operate under these reduced provisions
for one year before authorization for appropriations expires on December
This report provides background on the TAA program. After a brief introduction,
it discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by TAAEA. It then
describes how the program is funded and administered. The report concludes
by presenting data on recent application activity and benefit usage.
Date of Report: December 17, 2012
Number of Pages: 30 Order Number: R42012 Price: $29.95
For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card
number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail
or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.