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TAA Benefits
Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA)

Description of Benefits

ATAA participation allows older workers, for whom retraining may not be appropriate, to accept reemployment at a lower wage and receive a wage subsidy.  ATAA pays 50% of the difference between the wages received at the time of separation and the wages received from reemployment.  Individuals who continue to meet the eligibility criteria are paid ATAA benefits until a total of $10,000 in benefits has been received or until a period of two years has elapsed since the first qualifying reemployment, whichever occurs first.

ATAA Eligibility Requirements

  • The worker must be at least 50 years old at the time of reemployment, obtain full-time reemployment within 26 weeks of the date of separation from adversely affected employment, and earn $50,000 per year or less.  The worker has two years to apply after obtaining the reemployment. 

  • The worker may not return to the employment from which he or she separated, meaning the worker may not return to the same division/facility that he/she was separated from and may not return to the same or similar work for the employer that he/she was separated from in another division/facility. The worker may, however, return to a different job with the same employer in a different division or facility. Full-time means at least 35 hours per week and may include more than one employer.

  • ATAA recipients may not receive TAA training, TRA income support or job search allowances; they may, however, file for TAA relocation allowance and HCTC.  Workers who have received TAA-funded training may not file for ATAA.

ATAA Application Process

  • If a USDOL certification includes ATAA, the worker will have the ability to apply.  Since an ATAA recipient forfeits rights to certain TAA benefits, a worker interested in ATAA should actually maintain eligibility for all components of the TAA program for as long as possible, in case reemployment is not obtained within 26 weeks of the qualifying separation.  (The worker should attend a TAA Benefits Rights Interview presentation, receive a training waiver by either the last day of the 8th week after the week in which the certification was issued or the last day of the 16th week following the most recent qualifying separation, whichever is later, to preserve TRA entitlement, and undergo assessment to determine any training needs, with the development of a reemployment plan.)

  • Upon obtaining reemployment, the worker files the ATAA-APP, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) Individual Application (PDF, 49KB) and required documentation with the TAA representative. 

  • The worker has up to two years after obtaining reemployment to apply for ATAA.  Since ATAA recipients forfeit their right to certain TAA benefits, it may be advantageous to delay filing for ATAA as long as possible to permit a better assessment of the worker's reemployment.   

  • The TAA representative submits the application to the Unemployment Insurance Technical Unit (UI Tech) for processing.  UI Tech sends the worker an ATAA determination.  If denied, the worker may appeal.  If approved, the worker receives with the determination a letter about HCTC eligibility and a letter providing instructions for ongoing ATAA processing and earnings verification.

  • The worker submits verification of earnings to UI Tech on a monthly basis, providing earnings verification for a four-week period.  UI Tech issues separate determinations for all weeks covered by the monthly verification and a single monthly wage subsidy is paid to cover any applicable weeks.

  • If the worker is unable to maintain continuing eligibility, based on the loss of employment, a reduction in hours to less than full time, or a wage increase that results in a projection that the worker will exceed $50,000 in annual wages, then the worker is issued the ATAA Suspension Letter with appeal rights.  In some cases, it will be possible to reapply.  The worker will lose ATAA eligibility completely after receiving the $10,000 maximum entitlement or reaching the end of the two-year eligibility period.


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