Trade Act Assistance Program

Trade Adjustment Assistance provides services and benefits to workers who lose their jobs because of increased imports or because their employer shifted production to certain countries outside the United States. It is a federal program administered by the Idaho Department of Labor.

Workers may be eligible if:

  • They have lost their jobs or work has become part time because of increased imports or because their employer has shifted production from a site in the United States to specific countries.
  • They have lost their jobs because their company is indirectly affected:
    • By the company it supplied switching to a foreign company for the same components;
    • The company it supplied adding value to a product;
    • The company it did final assembly or finishing work for switching to a foreign company for that work; or
    • They are family farmers and farmworkers adversely affected by the North American Free Trade Agreement, have worked at least eight weeks during the previous year but do not qualify for unemployment compensation.

Check with a local office representative for additional eligibility information.

Training and re-employment services

Department of Labor offers re-employment assistance to workers including job referral, job search assistance, skills training, résumé assistance and career guidance. When no suitable jobs are available and skill training is needed for re-employment, the Department of Labor can connect workers with available training services at no cost. If the training facility is located outside the normal commuting area, some transportation costs are paid through the program.

Job search assistance

Job search allowances may be available to cover expenses incurred when seeking employment outside normal commuting areas -- paid at 90 percent of the allowable costs up to the maximum amounts allowable.

Relocation assistance

Relocation allowances may be available to workers who find a job outside their normal commuting area and must move as a condition of accepting that employment. Trade Adjustment Assistance will pay 90 percent of the allowable costs of moving family and household furnishings to a new location. Relocated workers are eligible to receive a lump sum payment up to the maximum amounts allowable to help with relocation expenses; the payment amount varies by program and by the amount of wages the worker earned at the adversely affected employment. There are time limits for filing applications for job search and relocation allowances. Only travel in the United States is authorized. Applications must be filed before the job search or relocation begins.

Weekly monetary benefits when state unemployment benefits are exhausted

Trade Adjustment Assistance-certified workers may be eligible for weekly Trade Readjustment Allowances after their regular state unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted. If the worker is enrolled in training, weekly trade readjustment benefits are paid during training periods if the worker continues to attend sessions and make satisfactory progress.

How to petition

A group of three workers, their authorized representative, One-Stop operators or partners or the Idaho Department of Labor may file a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition for certification. The petition must be filed simultaneously with the Idaho Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor. Petitions are available at any Idaho Department of Labor local office.

The Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance at the U.S. Department of Labor must determine if increased imports contributed to a company's decreased sales and production. It must decide if a significant number of workers have been laid off or if there is a strong indication that layoffs will occur. Approved certifications carry an impact date and generally are valid for two years from the date issued. If the petition is certified as eligible, affected workers may then apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance services.

If a petition is denied

Petitioners are notified in writing if their petition was denied. Those determinations, which must also be published in the Federal Register, can be appealed in writing through the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Older worker alternative

Workers over 50 who were employed by a company that is eligible for coverage under the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program may choose to receive services under this program rather than the regular Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Ask your local office representative if your former employer was certified for this program and if you are eligible for these benefits.

For more information, please contact your local office, or call:

Idaho Department of Labor, Workforce Development Division
317 W. Main St.  Boise, ID 83735-0590
Phone: (208) 332-3570
Fax: (208) 334-6400

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