1)Trade Readjustment Allowances (Tra)

1)Trade Readjustment Allowances (Tra)

Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefit Rights and Obligations (BRO)

2009 Amendments

Name: ______DOB: ______Petition #: ______

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal reemployment program of the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) that provides services to workers who have lost their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are significantly reduced as a result of increased imports or by a shift in production or services to a foreign country. If eligible, you may receive one or more program benefits and services, depending on what is needed for you to return to reemployment. Available benefits are:


TRA eligibility does not occur automatically! You must call 1-866-831-1724 to file a claim for TRA.

TRA benefits are weekly income support payments that are available under certain conditions after all unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are exhausted.

  • You may qualify for up to 32 weeks of Basic TRA if you are in TAA-approved training, have completed TAA-approved training, or have a waiver from the training requirement.
  • If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you may qualify for up to 78 weeks of Additional TRA (payable in a 91-week period) for each week in which you are participating in full-time TAA-approved training (no waivers are allowed under Additional TRA).
  • If you meet certain eligibility criteria, you may qualify for up to 26 weeks of Remedial or Prerequisite TRA for each week in which you are participating in full-time TAA-approved remedial or prerequisite training. (Example for Remedial: basic writing and mathematical skills training, training leading to a GED, and English as second language (ESL) training; Example for Prerequisite: basic science courses which qualify neither as remedial training nor as occupational, but are required prior to enrollment in the occupational field of training)

Your TRA weekly benefit amount (WBA) will likely be the same as the unemployment insurance benefits you were receiving. Earnings, income, or certain types of financial aid may reduce your TRA benefits.

In addition, a break in training that exceeds 30 days (Example: not enrolling in summer school), will prevent you from receiving TRA weekly benefits.

In order to be eligible for TRA benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been employed for 26 weeks in the previous 52 weeks in trade-impacted employment at wages of $30.00 or more per week; and
  • Complete an application for Trade Adjustment Assistance at a local SC Works Center; and
  • Exhaust your regular unemployment insurance benefits (including all federal extensions); and
  • Be enrolled in an approved training program

•by the end of the 26th week after your most recent qualifying separation from trade-impacted employment; OR

•by the end of the 26thweek after the trade petition has been certified; OR

•Be waived from the training requirement. However, you must have signed a waiver form by the end of the 26thweek after your most recent qualifying separation from trade-impacted employment, or by the end of the 26thweek after the trade petition has been certified.


YOUR Basic TRA deadline, i.e., the last date to be enrolled in training or waived from the training requirement in order to qualify for Basic TRA weekly income support payments is:

Waiver Criteria

In order to be approved for a waiver from the training requirement, you must meet one of the following criteria established by the federal government:

  • You have written proof that you will be recalled to work by the employer from which you were laid off within 6 months;
  • You have marketable skills to obtain suitable employment (a minimum of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or High School Diploma and a vocational certificate, diploma, or degree is required);
  • You are unable to participate in training due to health reasons (this only waives you from training, not from looking for work and accepting offered employment);
  • You are near retirement (within 2 years of qualifying for Social Security or a privately sponsored pension program);
  • There is a delay in the first available enrollment date for training;
  • Training funds are not available under TAA or other federal programs, or suitable training is not available at a reasonable cost.

Waivers from the training requirement must be reviewed initially after 3 months, and then every thirty (30) days thereafter. Failure to meet work search requirements or failure to report for scheduled appointments may be reasons for which a waiver may be revoked. If your waiver is revoked for these reasons, you will no longer be eligible to receive TRA payments. Waiver reviews are not required for participants who have beenissued a retirement waiver. Issuance of a retirement waiver will not jeopardize future eligibility of additional TAA benefits and services.


Prior to being approved for any training, a TAA Workforce Specialist will assess your individual situation. All occupational skills training determinations are made based on the information provided on the Training Information Package. Available training options are, for example,GED/HS Diploma, remedial training for basic skills upgrade, English as a Second Language (ESL), occupational/classroom training, online training, andOn-the-Job Training (OJT). (Additional requirements apply to OJT. For more information, please see the TAA OJT Benefit Rights and Obligations form.)

In order to be approved for job training, you must meet all six of the following criteria established by the federal government:

  • There is no suitable employment available in your local area (3 miles). Suitable employment is employment that pays at least 80% of your past trade-impacted wage and involves a skill level at least as great as that of the trade-impacted employment.
  • You would benefit from appropriate training.
  • There is a reasonable expectation of employment following successful completion of the training.
  • Training is reasonably available and/or accessible to you at an approved governmental or private training or education provider.
  • You are qualified to undertake and complete the training.
  • The training is suitable for you and available at a reasonable cost.

A training program cannot exceed 156 training weeks and only one training program is allowed per trade petition certification. Benchmarks for satisfactory training progress will be set in your Individual Employment Plan (IEP) and must be reviewed at least every 60days to ensure that you are:

  1. maintaining satisfactory academic standing (e.g. not on probation or determined to be “at risk” by the instructor or training institution), and
  2. on schedule to complete training within the timeframe identified in the approved training plan.

It is important to note that, if the training program you are interested in exceeds your length of cash benefits, the training program may only be approved if you can demonstrate the ability to support yourselfthroughout the entire course of training.

The TAA program can cover all necessary and reasonable training-related costs; including but not limited to tuition, fees, books, tutoring, the usual and customary tools, equipment, supplies, and uniforms. If your training commute is greater than 3 miles one-way, you may be eligible for transportation assistance. If your approved training program requires you to commute to different locations, a separate Transportation Application must be completed for each location. If your training requires occasional expenses such as an overnight stay, you may qualify for subsistence allowances. Also, if you qualify for a Pell Grant, you will not have to apply it towards the cost of your training; instead, you may keep it to cover additional personal expenses.

You must attend training full-time to receive TRA. Part-time training is allowed under certain circumstances, but TRA benefits will not be issued. All guidelines outlined in the Training Application must be adhered to. A TAA Workforce Specialist can provide you with the proper application for training. Applications for Training must be made in advance.


Reemployment services may be available to you through the TAA program directly or through partners within the SC Works System. Services include:

  • Individual career counseling, including job search and placement counseling.
  • Assessments and diagnostic testing to identify appropriate employment goals and create individual employment plans.
  • Provision of local and national labor market information.
  • Short-term prevocational services, including communications skills, interviewing skills, punctuality, personal maintenance skills, and professional conduct to prepare you for employment or training.
  • Assistance with obtaining information on training available in local and regional areas, including individual counseling to determine which training is suitable, information on how to apply for such training, and information on how to apply for financial aid.
  • Information relating to the availability of supportive services, including services relating to child care, transportation, dependent care, and housing assistance.


If you have a job interview or other directed job search activity outside the state-defined commuting area (greater than 3 miles from your residence), 100% of the necessary and reasonable costs of your job search may be reimbursed, up to a maximum of $1,500. Job Search Allowances may be approved based on the following criteria established by the federal government:

  • You must have proof of a bona fide job interview, job fair, or job seminar;
  • Travel must be the least expensive method, for the shortest duration of time;
  • Job Search Allowances are paid up to 50% of the federal allowable rates for lodging and meals;
  • There are time limitations on applying for job search allowances: 365 days (one year) after the petition certification date, or 365 days (one year) after your last permanent separation from work (whichever is later), or 182 days (6 months) after the completion of your training; and
  • Job search activities must conclude 30 days after beginning.

A TAA Workforce Specialist can provide you with federal allowable rates and the proper application for job search allowances. Applications for Job Search Allowances must be made in advance.


If you obtain a bona fide offer of work outside the state-defined commuting area (greater than 3 miles from your residence) and desire to move your possessions, 100% of your necessary and reasonable relocation costs may be reimbursed. Relocation Allowances may be approved based on the following criteria established by the federal government:

  • You have a bona fide offer of employment and can provide written confirmation (required from the new employer);
  • Two estimates of moving costs if you are using a commercial mover;
  • The current federal allowable mileage rate will be paid if you are driving (up to two vehicles allowed);
  • Additional funds for incidental expenses – the amount is equal to 3 times your average weekly wage from the trade-impacted employment, not to exceed $1,500;
  • There are time limitations on applying for relocation allowances: 425 days (15 months) after the certification date of the petition, or 425 days (15 months) after your last total separation from employment, whichever is later, or 182 days (6 months) after you complete your training;
  • You must begin your move within 182 days (6 months) after submitting the relocation application.

A TAA Workforce Specialist can provide you with federal allowable rates and the proper application for relocation allowances. The application for Relocation Allowances must be made in advance.


RTAA is a wage supplement program for older workers who find new employment at lower wages. The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to receive RTAA benefits:

  • You must become reemployed no later than 2 yearsafter theexhaustion of your UI benefits;
  • You must be at least 50 years old at the time of reemployment;
  • New employment may not pay more than $55,000 per year;
  • New employment may be:
  • full time (at least 30 hours per week; can be two or more jobs); or
  • part time (at least 20 hours per week; must be enrolled in full-time TAA-approved training);
  • You may not return to your previous, trade-affected employment;
  • An application for RTAA benefits must be filed within two years of the exhaustion of your UI benefits;

RTAA pays 50% of the difference between your wages from the trade-certified job and the new job. The RTAA wage supplement may be paid up to a maximum of $12,000 or for two years, whichever occurs first. However, the number of weeks you received TRA is deducted from your two year span of payments.

A TAA Workforce Specialist can provide you with the proper application for RTAA.

FRAUD – Giving any false information or withholding information in order to obtain or increase benefits is FRAUD and can subject you to liability to repay overpayments, program disqualification, and criminal prosecution with penalties ranging from fines to up to 10 years imprisonment.

APPEAL RIGHTS – All determinations in the Trade Adjustment Assistance program must be issued to you in writing. If you disagree with any written determination, you have the right to appeal provided a notice of appeal is filed within ten (10) calendar days, including weekends and holidays, from the date of the determination. If the tenth (10th) day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the appeal period is extended to the next business day. Your appeal may be filed in person with a TAA Workforce Specialist, via fax at (803) 737- 0287, or by mail addressed to Appeal Tribunal, P.O. Box 995, Columbia, SC 29202.



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Rev. 3/14

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