1. To obtain Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) reemployment services and benefits a group of workers must first file a petition with the U.S Department of Labor's (Department’s) TAA Program requesting certification as workers adversely affected by foreign trade. Once a complete petition is filed, the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance (OTAA) initiates an investigation to determine whether a group of workers meets the group eligibility requirements. If the group of workers meets the group eligibility criteria, a group eligibility certification will be issued for the worker group. This certifies that the workers of the group are eligible to apply for TAA Program benefits and services.

2. After a group certification is issued, each worker in the group must then individually apply for services and benefits through their local American Job Center. Case managers at the local American Job Center will issue a determination of the worker’s individual eligibility for TAA benefits.

Who may file a petition?

A petition may be filed by any of the following: a group of two or more workers from the same firm, a certified or recognized union or other duly authorized representative of the group of workers; the employer(s) of the group of workers; or an American Job Center operator or American Job Center partners including State workforce officials, employment security agencies, or dislocated worker unit and rapid response team members. OTAA will initiate an investigation when a complete and valid petition is filed by any of these parties.

Assistance in preparing a petition

Petitioners may request assistance in preparing the petition at their local American Job Center which may be located by calling 1-877-US2-JOBS, (TTY) 1-877-889-5627, or visit the locate an American Job Center website at www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/local-help.aspx. Petitioners may also contact the Department in Washington, D.C. at 202-693-3560 or 1-888-365-6822.

Submitting a Petition

The petition form must be signed and dated by at least two members of the petitioning group of workers, or by an official of a certified or recognized union or other duly authorized representative of the group of workers, or by an official of the employer of the group of workers, or by a representative of an American Job Center operator or American Job Center partner, State workforce, employment security agency, or dislocated worker unit or rapid response team. When a group of two workers is filing the petition, both workers must sign the petition.

Once signed, the petition must be submitted to both OTAA in Washington, D.C. and to the relevant State workforce agency.

Decisions on TAA Petitions

The petition, along with any supplemental attachments, will be reviewed by OTAA to determine if it is valid within 2 business days of receipt. After accepting a complete and valid petition, OTAA will initiate an investigation to determine whether the group of workers covered by the petition meets the group eligibility requirements of the Trade Act. This investigation may include contacting the workers' firm to collect data, contacting customers of the workers' firm, the petitioners, unions, State workforce agencies, or other sources of relevant information as needed. The steps required to complete an investigation vary according to the circumstances specific to the worker's firm. Please click here to see an example of a Business Data Request (BDR).

If the workers are found to meet the group eligibility criteria set by the Trade Act, OTAA will issue a certification of group eligibility.

Certification of Petitions

When the investigation establishes that a group of workers meets the group eligibility criteria, OTAA will issue an affirmative determination or certification of worker group eligibility to apply for TAA Program benefits and services. The certification will include the name of the firm or appropriate subdivision at which the trade-affected workers covered by the certification have been employed (which need not be limited to the unit specified in the petition), and may identify the worker group by name and specifies the beginning and ending dates. Generally the certification covers all members of the worker group who are separated or threatened with separations during the period beginning one year before the petition was filed and ending two years after the date of the certification.

Denial of Petitions

If, after investigation, OTAA determines that the group of workers does not meet the criteria for eligibility, OTAA will issue a negative determination or denial. The denial will include the name of the firm or appropriate subdivision at which the workers covered by the denial have been employed (which need not be limited to the unit specified in the petition), and may identify the worker group by name. 
Workers who are denied eligibility to apply for TAA Program benefits and services may request administrative reconsideration of the determination and seek reemployment services from other programs such as those available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act's Dislocated Worker program also available through local American Job Center.

Notification of Certification or Denial

After making a determination on group eligibility, OTAA will notify the petitioners, the workers' firm, and State workforce agency of the determination. In addition, the determination will be posted on the TAA website and published in the Federal Register. If a group of workers is certified eligible to apply for TAA, the State workforce agency will then notify individual workers of the certification and provide information about benefits.

How to Challenge a Petition Denial

Administrative Reconsideration

Determinations on TAA petitions are published in the Federal Register, the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal organizations. Aggrieved parrties who are denied certification may request administrative reconsideration from OTAA by filing an Application for Reconsideration via form ETA-9185 (DOCX, PDF). Reconsideration requests must be filed with OTAA within 30 days of Federal Register publication and may be emailed, mailed, or faxed to:

United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
Attn: Reconsiderations
Room N-5428
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20210

 

Judicial Review

A worker, group of workers, certified or recognized union, or authorized representative of such worker or group may commence 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.