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Help from Trade Adjustment Assistance.

This is a federal government program that was created to provide support to foreign trade-affected workers as well as their families. It can help people that have had their job eliminated or their income cut back due to competition from other companies that are based oversees. TAA can help workers who are impacted by tariffs, NAFTA, or trade from foreign countries such as Mexico, China, Europe, Vietnam or countless other counties.

Another focus of TAA, or the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, is on offering financial assistance to employees that have had been impacted by a foreign trade agreement, such as NAFTA or any one of dozens of others. As too many workers either lose their job, or have their work hours and income, reduced from foreign trade agreements.

The government will offer these workers reemployment benefits, job training, additional unemployment compensation, and other social services. The Trade Adjustment Assistance program offers help to workers who become partially or totally separated or are threatened to become laid off from their employer as a result of a shift in production to foreign countries. Assistance can also be provided to individuals that have lost their job, or had a significant reduction in income, due to increased foreign imports in the industry in which they work, or what is known as offshoring.

In addition to the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, some states also offer job training and other financial assistance programs. These stare run benefits are also available to foreign trade impacted companies. The government can help with medical bills, rent, provide food assistance, and other aid. Learn more on state programs.

To be eligible and in order to enroll in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, a petition must be filed by a group of three or more workers. Applications can also be accepted from an official of the employer, an authorized representative of the union, the state dislocated worker unit, or the Employment Service partner. A TAA petition can be obtained at the US Department of Labor website.




Resources provided from the Trade Adjustment Assistance

There are several parts to the program. They range from financial help to assistance in placing the person into a new job. TAA will also coordinate as well as pay for any additional job training or education that is needed.

Additional Unemployment Benefits - Up to two years of extended unemployment benefits that can help pay bills and debts while the employee is searching for a new job. This will be in addition to any state benefits given. This funding is authorized by the federal government and program terms can change from year to year.

Job Search Allowance - The TAA program will provide help with transportation costs and related needs for those workers who are not able to find suitable employment in the immediate area in which they live. For example, job search allowances, which can include cash grants and reimbursements, are available for workers who are trying to find employment outside their normal commuting distance.

Short term income assistance from TAA - Since many solutions, such as job training or career counseling, take time, the Trade Adjustment Act can also help arrange for short term relief. As there are ways to make quick cash to pay the bills, unemployment and charitable financial assistance, and other resources for dislocated workers. As one example, find information on steps to take to get emergency cash.

Relocation Allowance - The government can hlp move the family. There will be grants used to help for paying relocation costs, and this funding is available for an eligible Trade Adjustment Assistance worker who finds permanent employment outside of the area in which they live. So if you find a job in a neighboring state, some additional assistance may be provided to you for paying for your moving expenses. Of course there must be a reasonable expectation that the employment will be longer term and of a permanent nature.

Job Training - The TAA program also offers training so that workers have the skills necessary to find a decent job. Many positions in the country require specialized skills. Training will help people reenter the employment market in as short a timeframe as possible.





Remedial Training - There are various educational opportunities and options for remedial training which may be taken or required in conjunction with some type of occupational training. Types of remedial training provided can include help with a GED, developmental math, English, reading, and English as a Second Language.

Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) - The Trade Adjustment Assistance program also created a Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) that can help pay for the care that is needed while other, long term government benefits are applied for. The program will help pay for health care costs, medical bills and associated debt. It is available for trade affected workers under all TAA and NAFTA-TAA certified petitions. Find additional ways to get medical bill assistance and also free health care.

The program continues to evolve as well. Find additional benefits of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, and read about improvements of assistance to the program.

Additional job training programs

The federal government sponsored and funded Trade Adjustment Assistance Program is targeted at a certain individual whose job was impacted by outsourcing. It can also assist people who had their job transferred overseas. So unfortunately not everyone can qualify for financial aid or job training services from it.

However there are other options and financial resources for people to look into. Some other non-profits that can help people find jobs, or that provide free or low cost training include places like the following.

  • Goodwill Industries job training. This non-profit focuses on seniors, the very low income, disabled, and others.
  • Another option which slightly more inclusive is the Workforce Investment Act job training, which is a government funded resource and is administered by a number of non-profit organizations, including your local social service office. Clients can receive assistance with searching for jobs, career counseling, and access to other employment resources.
  • The Trade Adjustment Act will also give job seekers basic needs. As people seeking work may need clothes, a computer, gasoline vouchers or a bus pass, or many other resources. TAA will help provide those goods.





Where to apply to Trade Adjustment Assistance

Centers are located throughout the nation, including in most towns, cities, and counties. Your current employer may notify you of the TAA program when your job is terminated. However, if they don’t, then you have two options to learn more and to also apply for help from this service. Visit the site or contact your local community action agency.


By Jon McNamara


















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