Attachment D

Trade Act Guidelines and Timelines

  DEFINITION GUIDELINES TIMELINES
Filing of Petition In order for workers to be identified as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance a petition must be filed with and certified by the USDOL.

The petition and instructions for completing it is available at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/petitions.cfm

Petition forms must be completed by a group of three or more workers, a company official, a union or other duly authorized representative, or a One-Stop Operator or One Stop partner. (TEGL 11-02 section B)

The petition is sent to both the USDOL and NYSDOL. The USDOL will conduct an investigation to determine certification and NYSDOL will trigger rapid response activities for the affected worker group.

To be considered valid a petition must be SIGNED (section 1) and DATED (section 5).

One Stop Career centers must make petitions available to customers and assist in the completion if requested.

A “certified petition” identifies an affected worker group and establishes eligibility for individuals to apply for TAA. For example this excerpt is from petition 52,853 "All workers of Trenton Technology, Inc., Utica, New York who became totally or partially separated from employment on or after September 4, 2002, through two years from the date of certification are eligible to apply for adjustment assistance under Section 223 of the Trade Act of 1974, and are also eligible to apply for alternative trade adjustment assistance under Section 246 of the Trade Act of 1974." Signed at Washington, D.C., this 26th day of September 2003.

Once a petition is certified, identified individuals will receive an application to determine individual eligibility for Trade Adjustment Assistance and Trade Readjustment Allowance from the NYS Department of Labor.

In order for any of the workers in the petitioning worker group to be eligible for Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), a request for ATAA consideration must be filed at the same time as the TAA petition is filed.  This program is more fully detailed below.

The form to request ATAA is at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/petitions.cfm

Petitions dated more than one year after the workers have been laid off will not be certified by USDOL. (Trade Act of 1974 Section 223 (B)(1)).

Filing of petition with the NYSDOL triggers the immediate provision of rapid response activities.

Once a valid petition is received by the USDOL a determination should be rendered within 40 days. Petitions can be tracked at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/determinations.cfm

Determining Individual Eligibility to TAA/TRA NYSDOL mails, to each affected worker who is covered under a certified petition, an application which will be used to determine his or her individual eligibility for TAA/TRA. Individuals are instructed to return the completed application to NYSDOL as soon as they are laid off and have established a valid UI claim.

NYSDOL reviews applications, determines individual eligibility and notifies affected workers by mail. Individuals are instructed to report to the nearest One-Stop Center. Once an individual is determined eligible, the work history tab on OSOS must indicate that they were “dislocated due to foreign trade” and the relevant information entered.

Some benefits have eligibility timelines as detailed below.
Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) ATAA allows TAA eligible workers, at least 50 years old, for whom retraining may not be appropriate and who find reemployment, to receive a wage subsidy to help bridge the salary gap between their old and new employment. To receive the ATAA benefits, workers must be TAA and ATAA certified.

The wage subsidy is up to half of the difference between the worker's old wage and the new wage. The total of all payments may not exceed $10,000 during the two-year eligibility period.

To be eligible for the ATAA program, workers may not earn more than $50,000 per year in the new employment.

Workers who begin receiving payments under the ATAA program cannot receive training, TRA and job search benefits and services. They may receive relocation allowances and the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC).

NYSDOL will determine eligibility, ATAA wage benefit and administer payments made under the ATAA program.

The age eligible worker must obtain different, full-time employment within 26 weeks of separation from the trade-affected employment, at wages less than those earned in the trade-affected employment.

For purposes of employment plan development, the 26 weeks can be calculated from the qualifying separation date on the work history tab of OSOS.

TEGL 2-03 details ATAA and can be accessed at: http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/directives/tegl2-03.cfm

Classroom and On the Job Training “Enrolled in training,” means that the worker's application for training has been approved, the training institution has furnished written notice that the worker has been accepted, and the training is to begin within 30 days of the approval.

Affected workers are allowed one training program per petition.

Criteria for the approval of training are detailed in 20 CFR 617.22. The criteria include:

  • There is no suitable employment
  • The worker would benefit from the training
  • There is a reasonable expectation of employment as a result of training
  • Training is reasonably available from either a governmental agency or private source and emphasis must be given to secure training within the commuting area
  • Worker is qualified to undertake and complete training
  • Training is suitable and available at a reasonable cost
An eligible affected worker is only allowed one training program per petition. A training program may be approved for an eligible affected worker at any time regardless of their eligibility for UI/TRA. (20 CFR 617.20 (b) (1)). In the event the individual has exhausted UI and is not eligible for TRA, careful attention must be paid to the person's capability, based on financial resources, to complete the training program – one of the criteria for approval.

A person may be determined eligible for TAA and TRA and because they do not enroll in training a timely manner, forfeit their entitlement for weekly basic and additional TRA payments. See below for further information on income support.

For example, Joe is eligible for TAA and TRA. Through the efforts of the One Stop center staff he finds employment quickly after being laid off and forgoes training. In less than 2 years Joe finds himself laid off again and now realizes his chances for securing suitable employment would be enhanced with a training program. If all the other criteria for approval are met, Joe's training request can be approved. He would not be eligible for TRA at this point because the deadlines for TRA eligibility have lapsed as outlined in the next section

Trade Readjustment Allowance “The 8/16 week deadline” and the “210 day rule” Income Support - weekly cash payments available for 78 weeks after a worker's unemployment insurance compensation (UI) benefit is exhausted and during the period in which a worker is participating in an approved full-time training program. With 26 weeks of UI, benefits could total 104 weeks of income support.

Basic TRA = 26 weeks (paid if in training or on waiver from training and meets “8/16 week deadline”) Additional TRA = 52 weeks (paid only for additional number of weeks in training and must meet additional 210 day deadline)

Allows workers whose training includes remedial education up to an additional 26 weeks of income support - for a maximum of 130 weeks of income support. This is paid on the basis of one week of additional TRA for one week of remedial education.

Income support is an important factor when developing an employment plan that may require training.

The qualifying separation date and the certification date will be identified on the work history tab on OSOS.

Workers should be assisted in enrolling in an approved training program prior to the 8/16 week deadline, or be issued a waiver prior to the 8/16 week deadline, if appropriate. Information on waivers is detailed below.

One of the six criteria in approving a training plan under TAA is that the worker is qualified to undertake and complete the training – including having the financial resources to complete the program. (20 CFR 617.5)

The “8/16 week deadline” is either the last day of the 8th week after the week of issuance of the certification of eligibility covering the worker or the last day of the 16th week after the worker's most recent total qualifying separation, whichever is later. (TEGL 11-02 section D, 1 and 2)

For example, Joe, an affected worker is laid off 2/27/04 (most recent qualifying separation) and the certification date of the petition is 2/10/2004. The 8th week after the certification date of the petition is 4/9/2004 and the 16th week after the separation date is 6/18/2004. Joe must be enrolled in training or have received a waiver no later than 6/18/04 to be eligible for TRA.

The “210 day rule” -means, in order to be eligible for additional TRA, a worker must have filed a bona fide application for training within 210 days of either the issuance of the certification covering the worker or the worker's most recent qualifying separation, whichever is later. This 210-day deadline applies to additional TRA, but not to remedial TRA that may be received by workers enrolled in remedial training. (20 CFR 617.15 and TEGL 11-02 change 1)

Using the above example for Joe, the 210 days are calculated from the separation date and he must have made an application for training by 9/24/2004 to be eligible for additional TRA.

If a worker fails to meet the 8/16 week deadline, then the worker is not eligible for any TRA (basic TRA or additional TRA, including TRA for remedial training).

Waiver from Training An individual may receive Basic TRA even if they are not enrolled in training if they have been issued a waiver from the “enrolled in training” requirement. There are six criteria for issuing a waiver from training:

  1. Individual will be recalled
  2. Individual has marketable skills
  3. Individual will retire within 2 years
  4. Individual cannot participate in training because of health reasons
  5. Enrollment in training is unavailable
  6. Training is not available

These criteria are fully defined in TEGL 11-02 section D 3.

Local Area staff will issue waivers when appropriate and notify NYSDOL when a waiver cannot be granted or must be revoked.

Affected workers must be assisted in enrolling in an approved training program prior to the 8/16 week deadline for TRA, or be issued a waiver from training prior to the 8/16 week deadline, if appropriate.

If training is not needed, the customer must be referred to the NYSDOL Division of Employment Service staff for UI reemployment services.

Job Search Allowance An allowance paid to an individual to attend a verifiable job interview within the United States.

The allowance reimburses the worker 90% of the cost of necessary job search expenses as prescribed not to exceed $1,250.

Individual must be registered for work in OSOS and it is expected that suitable work cannot be secured within the normal commuting area.

All the requirements for this allowance are detailed in TEGL 11-02 section F and 20 CFR 617 subpart D.

An application for this allowance must be made before the 365th day the certification or their last total separation whichever is later or the 182nd day after the date in which the worker successfully concluded training or the date a training waiver terminates.

Job Search must be completed within a reasonable period and minimally no later than 30 days after the job search began.

Relocation Allowance An allowance paid to individual relocating within the United States to accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment.

The allowance reimburses up to 90% of reasonable and necessary expenses for the worker, workers family and household effects and a lump sum equivalent to 3 times the worker's average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $1,250.

Individual must be registered for work in OSOS and it is expected that they cannot secure suitable work within their commuting area.

All the requirements for this allowance are detailed in TEGL 11-02 section G and 20 CFR 617 subpart E.

An application for this allowance must be made before the 425th day after the date of certification or the 425th day after the last total separation or the date that is the 182nd day after the date in which the worker successfully concluded training or the date a training waiver terminates.
Health Care Tax Credit TAA and ATAA affected workers may be eligible for the Health Care Tax Credit Program.

Covered individuals may be eligible to receive a tax credit equal to 65% of the amount they paid for qualifying coverage under qualified health insurance. The tax credit may be claimed at the end of the year or a qualified individual may receive the credit in the form of monthly advance payments to the health insurance provider.

Affected workers who are potentially eligible should receive an HCTC Program Kit from the IRS that contains registration information and a registration form.

Potential eligible workers include those that:

  1. Receive a Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.
  2. Are eligible for TRA under the TAA program but have not exhausted their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.
  3. Receive benefits under the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program.

Individuals are advised to review the kit and if appropriate complete and return the registration form with any required documents.

Information about the tax credit can be obtained at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=109915,00.html Or by calling 1.866.628.4282 TTY/TDD users may use the same number.

Information on NYS Health Coverage options can be obtained by logging on to http://www.healthyny.com/ or by calling 1-866-HealthyNY (1-866-432-5849)

The website has a link for “Info on federal Health Coverage Tax Credit for TAA and PBGC recipients”.

Individuals interested in the tax credit should be encouraged to contact the IRS HCTC Call Center. Individuals interested in information on NYS health coverage options that are eligible for the tax credit should contact the HealthyNY website or toll free number.