Without Congressional action, on July 1, 2021, the TAA Program will revert to a modified version of the Trade Reform Act of 2002. Any workers covered under a Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance filed on or after July 1, 2021, would be covered by this modified version.
by Tim Theberge, OTAA Staff
As an Eagle Scout, the whole “Be Prepared” thing is how I operate, so, in that light, this is what you need to know. We’re tentatively calling this “Reversion 2021.” This blog provides a quick snapshot of the reversion and sunset provisions.
Group Eligibility - Only worker groups in manufacturing would be eligible. Service sector workers would not be eligible. This represents about half of the petition activity.
TRA – There would still be a maximum of 130-weeks of TRA available: Basic, Additional, and Completion. There would be no more earnings disregard or TRA election provisions. State good cause laws and rules would no longer apply. The details on these changes will be provided in Operating Instructions if we get to that point.
Waivers –The three waivers available under the 2015 TAA Program are retained without change: Health, Training Not Available, and Enrollment Unavailable.
Job Search & Relocation Allowances – There is no change to these two benefits.
Employment and Case Management Services – Reversion 2021 would not contain Section 235, which currently contains the employment and case management provisions. This means that TAA funds will not be able to support any worker certified under a Petition filed on or after July 1, 2021. The lack of funding however, does not remove the state’s responsibility to provide those services. The requirement to provide these services is outline in the Governor-Secretary Agreement. We’ll cover this later in the guidance that will be issued if no action is taken by Congress to extend or reform the TAA Program.
RTAA – RTAA reverts to ATAA. Operationally, there are only minor changes.
Funding – Funding under Reversion 2021 will be reduced to the 2002 level. This means that there will only be $220,000,000 or so available for Training and Other Activities.
Again, this is only if no Congressional action is taken. The TAA Program will sunset (expire) on June 30, 2022. No additional Petitions will be accepted or certified after that time. ATAA payments may not be made after June 30, 2022 – regardless of remaining eligibility. Unexpended funds from previous, but active, fiscal years will be available for expenditure subject to any restrictions explained in the Operating Instructions or applicable regulations. Funding from FY2020 will be available for expenditure until September 30, 2022. Funding from FY2021 will be available for expenditure until September 30, 2023. Funding awarded in FY2022 will be available for expenditure until September 30, 2024.
We’ll keep you posted as this develops over the next few months. If no Congressional action is taken, we will issue Operating Instructions as we have done before and provide technical assistance on the transition.