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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.


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