Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002: Summary
Changed Features of Trade Adjustment Assistance Program
- Includes among eligible workers those directly affected by increased imports or certain shifts of production to other countries.
- Provides that eligible workers also include secondarily affected workers of an upstream supplier or downstream producer to a certified primary firm.
- Specifies that petitions are filed with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Governor.
- Specifies petitions trigger immediate provision of rapid response and basic adjustment services available under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), facilitating coordinated planning and more rapid reemployment.
- Reduces by one-third (from 60 to 40 days) the time period in which the Secretary must review a petition, so that workers receive benefits and services sooner.
- Requires enrollment in training by 16 weeks after separation or 8 weeks after certification, but allows extension of the enrollment period under extenuating circumstances.
- Establishes six criteria for waivers of enrollment in training to receive income support.
- Establishes a training cap of $220 million per year for program participants.
- Strengthens on-the-job training and authorizes training customized to a specific employer's needs.
- Allows 26 additional weeks of income support for workers participating in training - the maximum TAA income support period increases from 52 to 78 weeks, which, together with 26 weeks of UI, could result in a maximum of 104 weeks of income support.
- Allows workers whose training includes remedial education an additional 26 weeks of income support - for a maximum of 130 weeks.
- Increases caps on one-time payments for job search and relocation from $800 to $1,250.
- Increases break-in training requirement from 14 days to 30 days.
Added Major Features to the program
- Provides for an Alternative TAA Program for impacted workers 50 years and older. Some workers in firms with a significant number of workers over age 50 without easily transferable skills that find reemployment may choose (in lieu of other TAA benefits) to receive 50% of the difference between their new salary and old salary for two years, up to a maximum of $10,000 and also may receive health care assistance.
- Health insurance benefits are available to 3 groups - 1) TAA participants eligible to receive income support; 2) Those eligible participants in the Alternative TAA Program; 3) PBGC recipients.
- Health care benefits include: 65% advanceable and refundable tax credit which can be used for health insurance coverage such as COBRA; state COBRA; continuing individual market coverage and certain other state pooling options.
- Health care funding available through the Department of Health and Human Services to assist states in creating and operating high risk pools.
- Health care funding available to states through Labor Department to administer the health insurance provisions of the Act and to assist workers in purchasing health insurance coverage.
- Creates a TAA program for farmers to be run by the Agriculture Department.
This summary is intended to be a general description of a U.S. Department of Labor program. It is intended as a general description only and does not carry the force of law or regulation.