Petition Filing FAQ
This section provides answers to questions frequently asked by petitioners when completing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) petitions.
Q1: What is Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA Program)?
A: The TAA Program provides benefits and services for workers who lose their job or are threatened with job loss because of foreign trade.
Q2: What are some of the benefits and services available to those who qualify to apply for TAA?
A: Benefits and services available to eligible workers include job training, income support, and relocation allowances, among others. Detailed information is available at the TAA Benefits webpage here.
Q3: If I feel that I’m eligible for TAA benefits and services, how do I apply?
Q4: If I’m a company or union official, and I want my workers to receive TAA Program benefits and services, how do I apply?
Q5: What does a TAA petition need to consist of to be considered valid?
A: Federal regulations require that every petition contain nine basic elements:
- Name and contact information for each petitioner
- Name of the workers’ firm
- Address of the work site(s)
- Name and contact information of an official within the workers’ firm
- Description of the type of work performed at the work site(s)
- Date of worker separations
- Number of separated workers
- Reason why the petitioner believes worker separations are occurring
- Signature of each petitioner
Q6: Are there any tips for how to receive a timely decision on a TAA petition?
A: Yes. In your petition filing, make sure to include the full and correct contact information of an official within the company that employs the impacted workers.
Q7: Who counts as a Company Contact for the purposes of Section 6 of the petition form?
A: Any authorized representative of the workers’ employer who can provide accurate information about the circumstances of the actual or threatened worker layoffs.
Q8: I am an employer filing a TAA petition on behalf of my employees. Other than the petition, what additional information will I be required to provide during the investigation process?
A: Once the U.S. Department of Labor has received your petition and determined it to be valid, a TAA investigator will contact you to collect certain basic information about your business to reconcile whether the circumstances of worker layoffs meet TAA eligibility criteria.
Q9: What information should a representative from a State Workforce Agency or American Job Center Operator/Partner include in a TAA petition?
A: All sections of the petition form should be completed fully and accurately. Be sure to clearly identify the specific group of workers you’re intending to cover with your petition in Section 4 (Group of Workers). Also, include as much detail as you can in Section 5 (Trade Effects of Separations).
Q10: What do I do if my company is closed?
A: You can still file a petition! If the company is closed and has no current employees, it is acceptable to provide the names and contact information of former company officials, former owners, bankruptcy trustees, or attorneys representing the company on the petition form.
Q11: What if I do not have the contact information for two current company officials?
A: Provide as much information as you have available to you, such as any websites, phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses associated with the workers’ employer. Additionally, depending on who you are, reach out to former workers and/or your state agency representative for assistance in obtaining this information.
Q12: When should a TAA petition be filed?
A: Whenever there have been layoffs or you have been told that layoffs will be happening. If you are uncertain about whether to file a petition, use our motto: “When in doubt, file!”
Q13: I’m struggling with preparing a TAA petition. Is there anyone who can assist me?
A: You may request assistance at your local American Job Center, which can be located by calling 1-877-US2-JOBS, (TTY) 1-877-889-5627, or by visiting the American Job Center website at www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/local-help.aspx. You may also contact the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. at 202-693-3560 or 1-888-365-6822.
Q14: What do I do if I want to file a TAA petition, but I am a worker and cannot find another worker to file with me as a group of workers?
A: You can ask your state’s workforce agency to file a petition on your behalf. The TAA Program contacts for every state are listed here. Alternatively, you can visit your local American Job Center Operator/Partner for assistance.
Q15: What if I want to file a TAA petition on behalf of just one worker?
A: TAA petitions are for groups of workers. To be considered a group, there need to be at least two workers in the group identified in the petition.
Q16: What are some examples of ways that foreign trade can contribute to worker separations?
Example 1: “The Assembly Department work for a car maker is no longer needed as the factory is closing and production is being moved to another country.”
Example 2: “The customers of my company are now purchasing the widgets we make from a company located in another country.”
Example 3: “Our company produces automobile parts for an assembly plant. That plant was recently closed, and its workers were certified for TAA.”
Q17: I do not have access to documents that can prove a foreign trade effect has occurred. Can I still file a petition?
A: Yes. Our investigations team is charged with collecting information needed for the Certifying Officer to make a determination. The U.S. Department of Labor has the authority to reach out to all parties who may have information to address the eligibility criteria for TAA certification.
Q18: Do I have to submit additional information or attachments with my TAA petition filing?
A: No, that is not required. However, you should include as much information as you can about the circumstances of the group of workers on the petition form. If you have additional information that doesn’t fit on the form, it is helpful to attach it.
AFTER YOU SUBMIT A PETITION
Q19: What happens after I file my TAA petition, and how will I know that the U.S. Department of Labor has received it?
A: When a petition is filed online, you will receive confirmation via email. The U.S. Department of Labor will then evaluate whether the petition is valid. If the petition is determined to be invalid, you will be contacted regarding which information was missing from your filing. If the petition is determined to be valid, an investigator will be assigned to investigate whether the identified group of workers meets TAA eligibility criteria, and you will receive a customer service letter by email identifying the name and contact information of that investigator. You can check the status of your petition on the TAA website.
Q20: What happens after the petition is certified for TAA?
A: The Department will issue a certification of TAA group eligibility determination and will notify the petitioner(s), the workers’ firm, and the relevant state workforce agency of the determination in writing. The determination will also be posted on the TAA website and published in the Federal Register.
Q21: What is the process to determine TAA group and individual eligibility?
A: OTAA makes determinations of TAA group eligibility. Investigators conduct the petition investigation and recommend a determination to the Certifying Officer. Once the Certifying Officer signs off on the determination, notifications are made to the petitioner, the workers’ employer, and the relevant state agency. From there, a state agency representative will reach out to the workers’ employing firm to collect worker list information so that individuals can be notified of their eligibility to apply for individual benefits. Individual eligibility is determined at the state level.
Q22: Can I receive my benefits at my local American Job Center any time after certification?
A: Yes. To locate a local American Job Center, please visit www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/local-help.aspx.
DECISIONS ON TAA PETITIONS
Q23: How will I know whether my TAA petition is certified?
A: The Department will notify the petitioners, the workers' employer, and the relevant state workforce agency of the result of the process once complete. Also, the determination will be posted on the TAA website and published in the Federal Register.
Q24: What if my petition is denied? Can I appeal the determination?
A: Any party that’s eligible to file a TAA petition, and any worker in the group of workers, may file a written application seeking reconsideration of the determination.
Reconsideration applications (English, Spanish) must be filed with the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance no later than 30 calendar days after the notice of the negative or termination determination has been published within the Federal Register and may be emailed, mailed, or faxed to:
United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20210
- Phone: 202-693-3560 or 1-888-DOL-OTAA (1-888-365-6822)
- Fax: 202-693-3584 or 3585
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/tradeact
A worker, group of workers, certified or recognized union, or authorized representative of the group of workers may begin a civil action for review of the determination by filing a complaint with the United States Court of International Trade (USCIT) within 60 days after the date of publication of the notice of a final determination in the Federal Register, as provided under sec. 284 of the Act (19 U.S.C. 2395).
Requests for judicial review must be filed in accordance with the rules of the USCIT and must be filed with the Case Management Supervisor, U.S Court of International Trade, One Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10007, (212) 264-1611.