Trade Adjustment Assistance

The Trade Act, administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provides support to workers who have lost their jobs due to increased imports, a shift in production or a service that moved to another country. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), assistance provided through the Trade Act, offers one of the most comprehensive packages of benefits and support available to impacted dislocated workers.

How do I know if our layoff is trade-affected?  Do any of the scenarios apply to the upcoming layoff?

  • Move production outside of the United States.
  • Outsource jobs outside of the United States.
  • Competition with foreign companies.
  • Imports from foreign suppliers.
  • Supply customers impacted by foreign competition.

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, the layoff may be trade-affected and the employees impacted could be eligible for services and benefits provided under the TAA program. 

If you have additional questions about the TAA program, DOL has created a Frequently Asked Questions page that can be found here.

Benefits and Services
The goal of the TAA program is to help affected workers become reemployed in a suitable job as quickly as possible by providing benefits and services tailored to their needs including:

  • Training.
  • Income support while in training.
  • Job search allowances.
  • Relocation allowances.
  • Older worker wage subsidy.
  • Health coverage tax credit.

*Note: Due to congressional changes, the benefits under different sets of petition numbers may vary slightly.

Additionally, the SC Works system offers a wide array of services for workers who are losing their jobs.  These services are at no charge to the company and include resume writing, registration in SC Works Online Services (SCWOS), and an in-person overview of all of the benefits offered through the SC Works System.  For more information on these services, visit our Rapid Response page

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) uses petitions to determine a worker group's eligibility. Below you will find the outline of how the petition process flows. It is important to understand that petitions don’t specifically apply to companies; they are filed on behalf of affected worker group. In many cases the worker group that is determined to be eligible to apply for TAA benefits through their local workforce center is the entire company.

Petitions can be filed with DOL by: 
  • Three affected workers,
  • A union or appropriate labor representative,
  • The employer,
  • State Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • A local SC Works Center representative.

To find out if your company already has an existing petition or to file a petition, visit DOL's website here.
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