Frequently Asked Questions About Trade Benefits

Workers who lose their jobs or have their hours or wages reduced because of foreign trade may be eligible for trade benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Alternate Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA), and Trade Readjustment Allowances programs.

Who can file for Trade Benefits?

Your company, a group of three or more workers, the union, or an authorized representative can file the request, called a petition, to the USDOL.

Contact the CareerCenter at 1-888-457-8883 or TTY: Maine relay 711 for more information. The CareerCenter will help you fill out the paperwork to apply for certification under the program.

Who Determines If I Qualify for Trade Assistance?

When a layoff or work reduction occurs, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) will determine if your company was impacted by foreign trade. If your company is certified, you and your co-workers may apply for trade benefits.

What Program Services are available?

If you apply for trade benefits, you may benefit from one or more of these services:

  • Employment services providing counseling, testing, and job placement assistance.
  • Training benefits in approved training programs, including paid tuition and some training expeses if the training is outside your normal commuting area.
  • Job Search and Relocation Allowances for travel expenses to job interviews and relocation expeses for jobs outside your local area.

To qualify for Job Search Allowance you must:

  • Register with the CareerCenter.
  • Apply for this benefit before you begin your job search or relocate out of your local area.
  • Apply within 365 days of your company’s TAA certification or within 365 days of your last total layoff, whichever is later, or within 182 days after you complete your TAA training.
  • If eligible, you can get 90% of the transportation and living costs you incur, up to $800, while you look for permanent work in a new area.

To qualify for a Relocation Allowance you must:

  • Register with the CareerCenter.
  • Apply for this benefit before you move to the new area.
  • File your application within 425 days of your company’s TAA certification, or within 425 days of your last total layoff, whichever is later, or within 182 days of completing your TAA training.
  • Begin your move within 182 days after filing the application for the allowance, or within 182 days of completing your TAA approved training.

If eligible for a Relocation Allowance:

  • You must receive 90% of the reasonable costs to move your family and household goods.
  • You may also get three times your former weekly pay, up to $800, to help you get settled in your new community.

REMINDER:

It is important to remember the CareerCenter staff must approve any of these programs in advance.