×

There have been reports of phone calls made from a Department of Labor phone number (202-693-2700) soliciting personal information and/or promising funds to those receiving the calls. These calls were not authorized by the Department of Labor. ETA and the Department of Labor do not and will not solicit Personally Identifiable Information, such as your Social Security number, or other personal information, over the phone. If you receive a call like this from a number that looks like an ETA phone number, consider it a spam call, hang up, and report the call to the US Department of Labor at 1-855-522-6748.

For more information about how to recognize spam calls, please reference the IRS site about recognizing these imposter calls: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-know-its-really-the-irs-calling-or-knocking-on-your-door-0

Skip to content
  ETA Home   Trade Act Programs>    


TAARA 2015 Q&A

Q.1) When was TAARA 2015 enacted and when is guidance coming out?

  1. TAARA 2015 was enacted and signed by President Barack Obama on June 29, 2015, and took immediate effect. However, the TAARA 2015 provided a 90 day transition period for the Reversion 2014 Program participants (petition series TA-W-85,000-89,999), which began on September 28, 2015, as explained in Section A of the Operating Instructions for Implementing the Amendments to the Trade Act of 1974 Enacted by the TAARA 2015, Attachment A to TEGL No. 5-15, which was issued on September 4, 2015.


Q.2) Will Reversion 2014 Program participants transition to the 2015 Program?

  1. Yes. The TAARA 2015 provided that the Reversion 2014 Program participants must transition into the 2015 Program. This transition took effect on September 28, 2015. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A)


Q.3) Will Reversion 2014 Program participants have the choice of electing to stay in that program or change to the 2015 Program?

  1. No. Unlike the Trade Adjustment Assistance Expansion Act of 2011, which gave reversion program participants in the 2002 Program a choice, the TAARA provides for the Reversion 2014 Program participants to all transition into the 2015 Program; all other TAA Program participants (2002, 2009, and 2011 Programs) will continue to be served under their applicable law. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.1)


Q.4) Will Reversion 2014 Program participants who are starting fall semester training (most likely all before September 27, 2015) be eligible for the 2015 Program?

  1. Yes. Participants under the Reversion 2014 Program should begin TAA approved training at the appropriate start date, and will automatically transition to the 2015 Program. Reversion 2014 Program participants already enrolled in training will see no difference in training benefits. However, as a result of the transition to the 2015 Program, they will have the opportunity to enroll in part-time training (without TRA), an option that was not available under the Reversion 2014 Program. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section D.3)


Q.5) If a petition was under investigation before the enactment date (June 29, 2015), will it be reviewed under the 2015 Program group eligibility criteria, as provided under the TAARA 2015?

  1. Yes. The TAARA 2015 provides that, for any petition filed after January 1, 2014, and on or before June 29, 2015 (petitions with numbers ranging from TA-W-85,000-89,999), for which an investigation is still pending, a determination will be issued based on the group eligibility provisions of the 2015 Act. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.2)


Q.6) May adversely affected incumbent workers covered under petition series TA-W-85,000-89,999 (Reversion 2014 Program petitions) be eligible for TAA benefits and services after September 27th?

  1. Yes. Workers in groups covered under certified petitions in the series TA-W-85,000-89,999 (Reversion 2014 Program petitions) who are threatened with separation (adversely affected incumbent workers) may be eligible and apply for TAA benefits and services beginning on September 28, 2015, when they transition to the 2015 Program (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.2.4.3).


Q.7) Will States be required to notify all Reversion 2014 Program participants that they are now, beginning on September 28, 2015, eligible to apply for services and benefits under the 2015 Program, as provided by the TAARA 2015?

  1. Yes. States are required by the TAARA 2015 to provide notice of program benefits and services available to all adversely affected workers covered under certifications of petitions numbered TA-W-85,000-89,999, and that notice should explain the transition from Reversion 2014 to the 2015 Program beginning on September 28, 2015. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A)


Q.8) Will States need to review and re-determine all appellate decisions that were issued based on Reversion 2014 Program requirements?

  1. No, but States must review all appellate decisions resulting in the denial of TRA and ATAA benefits to determine whether the applications for those benefits that were denied under the requirements of the Reversion 2014 Program may be approved under the 2015 Program requirements, as explained in TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.2.4.4 and H.


Q.9) Will States need to review and re-determine all denials of applications for TAA benefits that were issued to Reversion 2014 Program participants since January 1, 2014, to see if they would have been approvable under the 2015 Program?

  1. No. States must re-determine only those applications for TRA and ATAA that were denied, as explained in TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.4.3 through A.4.6.


Q.10) Will States need to notify all TAA certified workers who have been to a TAA Program orientation where benefits under the Reversion 2014 Program were presented of new deadlines and benefits that apply to the 2015 Program?

  1. Yes. Adversely affected workers who have not yet received information regarding the 2015 Program benefits and services will need to receive notification of, and explanation about, the transition from Reversion 2014 to the 2015 Program, and all the benefits and services available to them and the applicable deadlines.


Q.11) Will companies/workers/ unions, who did not file a TAA petition due to the uncertainty of TAA renewal at the end of 2013, be able to file now? If so, does the TAARA 2015 have any special provisions that apply to them?

  1. The sunset of the 2011 Program did not prevent anyone from filing a petition. However, the TAARA 2015 recognized that petitions may not have been filed due to uncertainty about the continuation of the program. The TAARA 2015 provides that all certifications of petitions filed within 90 days after the date of enactment of the Act, which was 11:59 PM ET September 27, 2015, include workers separated on or after January 1, 2014, instead of the one-year impact date that applies to certifications of all other petitions. For example, since the date of enactment is June 29, 2015, if the date of the petition is September 1, 2015, which is fewer than 90 days after June 29, 2015, a certification of that petition will cover workers separated on or after January 1, 2014. When a petition dated more than 90 days after the date of enactment (September 28, 2015) is certified, the one-year impact date will apply, and the certification will no longer cover workers separated more than one year before the petition date. (See TEGL No. 5-15 Attachment A, Section A.3.2.)


Q.12) How will States go back and re-determine TRA determinations denied under the Reversion 2014 Program based on the claimant's failure to meet the 8/16 week enrollment in training deadline, and instead apply the 26/26 week enrollment in training deadline for the 2015 Program?

  1. If an applicant for TRA did not meet the 8/16 week enrollment in training deadline, States must review and reconsider the denial of his or her application using the 26/26 week training enrollment deadline that applies under the 2015 Program. States may then apply the Federal Good Cause standard for extending benefit deadlines, as described in Section C.2.1 of TEGL No. 5-15, to approve those applications. (See TEGL NO. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.2.4.5 and Section C.2.1)


Q.13) How will States re-determine an ATAA denial based on the worker not being employed within 26 weeks from the date of separation from adversely affected employment under the broader eligibility requirements for RTAA, which do not include a deadline for employment?

  1. For workers covered under a certification of a petition numbered TA-W-85,000-89,999 whose applications for ATAA were denied before September 28, 2015, CSAs must automatically review the negative ATAA determinations (including those that are currently in the appeals process) denying the worker individual eligibility for ATAA. If the denial was based on the failure to meet an ATAA requirement that does not apply to eligibility for RTAA (e.g., did not obtain full-time employment by the 26th week after separation), then the CSA must notify the worker of the RTAA requirements and that the worker has the option to apply for benefits under the RTAA program. CSAs may provide information to workers in a separate notice, or along with the notice of all the benefits available to this category of workers under the 2015 Program, beginning on September 28, 2015. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A2.4.4. and Section C.2.1).


Q.14) After September 28, 2015, may CSAs overturn denials of ATAA applications issued before that date because the applicants did not meet the deadline of starting qualifying reemployment by 26 weeks after separation from TAA-certified firm?

  1. Yes. Before September 28,, 2015, the TAARA 2015 required CSAs, as agents of the Secretary of Labor, to continue to apply the ATAA deadline for obtaining employment and to deny ATAA applicants that did not meet that deadline. For workers covered under a certification of a petition numbered TA-W-85,000-89,999 whose applications for ATAA were denied before September 28, 2015, CSAs must automatically review the negative ATAA determinations (including those that in the appeals process) denying the worker individual eligibility for ATAA. If the denial was based on the failure to meet an ATAA eligibility criterion that does not apply to eligibility for RTAA (e.g., did not obtain full-time employment by the 26th week after separation), then the CSA must notify the worker of the RTAA requirements and that the worker has the option to apply for benefits under the RTAA Program. CSAs may provide information to workers in a separate notice, or along with the notice of all the benefits available to this category of workers under the 2015 Program. (See TEGL NO. 5-15, Attachment A., Section A.2.4.4)


Q.15) When Reversion 2014 Program participants transition to the 2015 Program, does the ATAA Program completely disappear and must CSAs close the ATAA record and open a RTAA record for the worker?

  1. No. Benefits under ATAA program continue depending on the individual worker. See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section A.2.4.4, for discussion of the effect of the transition on the different types of ATAA Program participants.


Q.16) Will election of TRA or UI be available retroactively for workers who transition from the Reversion 2014 Program to the 2015 Program?

  1. No. The election of TRA or UI will not be available retroactively.


Q.17) The Reversion 2014 Program did not include the "Disregarded Earnings" provisions of the 2009 Program, the 2011 Program, and the 2015 Program. How can States retroactively implement that provision for Reversion 2014 participants beginning on September 28, 2015? Will this only be available to them from September 28th going forward?

  1. Section 232(a) of the Trade Act establishes the weekly amount of TRA a worker may receive. Section 232(a)(2) requires the deduction from that weekly amount of all income that is deductible from UI under the disqualifying income provisions of State or Federal UI law. The 2009, 2011, and 2015 Programs provide, however, that for workers participating in approved training, no deduction is made for earnings from work for a week up to an amount that is equal to the worker's most recent UI benefit amount (as determined under Section 231(a)(3)(B)). This provision will affect only the benefit computation for workers who are participating in full-time training other than on-the-job training because receipt of TRA requires participation in full-time training, as discussed in TEGL No. 5-15 and Attachment A, Section C.4. State payment units will need to reprogram their TRA payment process to accommodate this change in the amount of deductible earnings disregarded. This provision does not affect any wage calculations to determine a future claim for UI; it simply disregards wages equal to or less than the weekly benefit amount (WBA) for calculating the weekly TRA payment.


Q.18) May a request for a Waiver of Overpayment be made during an appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge?

  1. No. The determinations granting or denying waivers of overpayments must be made in accordance with the requirements of Section 243(a)(1) of the Trade Act under the TAARA 2015, 20 CFR 617.55(a)(2)(i)(A) and 20 CFR 617.55(a)(3) (in response to a request for a waiver determination). However, a request for a waiver of overpayments may be made to the state agency at any time, following state agency procedures as provided by the applicable state law referred at 20 CFR 617.16.


Q.19) Do the wages earned in On-the-Job Training (OJT) OR Registered Apprenticeship have to be included in the RTAA monthly calculation of annualized wages?

  1. Yes. Workers who are in TAA approved OJT and or Registered Apprenticeships are compensated by wages, and the income may have an impact on RTAA payments.


Q.20) Will case management funding be available retroactively to reimburse States that used other funding sources to provide those services to participants under the Reversion 2014 Program?

  1. No. Retroactive payments or reimbursement to States for the provision of employment and case management services to Reversion 2014 participants is not permitted. However, after September 28, 2015, all participants, except 2002 Program participants, are entitled to TAA-funded employment and case management services.


Q.21) May TAA-funded part-time training be available to Reversion 2014 Program participants beginning on September 28, 2015, when they transition to the 2015 Program?

  1. Yes.


Q.22) A Reversion 2014 participant was enrolled in full-time training, but later quit that training to work full-time in unsuitable employment since part-time training was not available under the Reversion 2014 Program. After September 28, 2015, may the State pay for the worker to resume that training program as part-time training?

  1. Yes. However, all benefits received under Reversion 2014 count towards the participant's maximum allowable benefit. For example, if a worker completed training under the Reversion 2014 Program, then the worker will not be eligible to enroll in another training program under the 2015 Program.


Q.23) Does the provision of Job Search and Relocation Allowances become optional for States as it was under the 2011 Program?

  1. Yes. Job Search and Relocation Allowances are available under the 2015 Program at the option of the States. States have a one-time choice to decide if their TAA participants will have the option to be offered Job Search and Relocation Allowances, as was done under the 2011 Program. (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Sections E and F)


Q.24) Will States need to send a mass notification of Eligible TAA Recipients and Eligible A/RTAA Recipients (from January 1, 2014 to the present) for HCTC through ICON to the IRS?

  1. We are unable to address this at this time as we are awaiting guidance from the IRS on implementation of the HCTC, which the TAARA 2015 reinstated and made retroactive to January 1, 2014. We will address this question when that guidance is available.


Q.25) Does the TAARA 2015 address WIOA performance measures? (This is an area of concern because the states will need time to program for these changes.)

  1. Yes. The TAARA 2015 addresses performance indicators and aims to align the TAA program performance indicators with WIOA performance indicators (See TEGL No. 5-15, Attachment A, Section I.3). We will be issuing TAA guidance in coordination with WIOA guidance at a later time.


Q.26) Will the new performance measurements be retroactive or will there be some date in the future on which they will be required?

  1. New performance measures will not be retroactive. Guidance on performance measure requirements and how to align TAA performance measures with WIOA will be provided, although no date for issuance of the guidance is available at this time.


Q.27) If a TAA participant obtained a credential, but did not meet training benchmarks to be eligible for Completion TRA, will States continue to be able to report the TAA participant as obtaining a credential?

  1. Yes. As before the enactment of the TAARA 2015, credential reporting applies to all TAA participants, regardless of whether the participant is eligible for or applies for Completion TRA.


Q.28) Does a recognized credential include a GED and/or an ESL certificate?

  1. Yes. There is no change in what the Department identifies as recognized credentials. The guidelines contained in TEGL No. 15-10 continue to apply.


Q.29) After September 28, 2015, are States to continue reporting Reversion 2014 Program participants who were receiving ATAA before that date?

  1. Yes. States need to report both ATAA and RTAA participants after September 28, 2015.


Q.30) What is the difference between Additional TRA and Completion TRA as it relates to Break in Training?

  1. Additional TRA is payable during a break in training of 30 days or less (20CFR 617.15(D)(1), and Completion TRA is not payable during a break in training of 30 days or less (TEGL 5-15 Section C.6).