As of the publication of this blog, OTAA has now certified 8 petitions under the Reversion 2021 criteria. These certifications cover an estimated 1,600 workers in 7 states.
by Tim Theberge, OTAA Staff
So, what does this mean?
For these 7 states, they will now need to make sure they are allocating costs appropriately when providing employment services under Sec. 235 of the Act. Under Reversion 2021, although TAA can pay for the initial assessment, all other employment services must be covered by partner programs. As we’ve discussed, these primary partners will be Wagner-Peyser (Title III) and the WIOA Dislocated Worker (Title I) programs.
The limitation on funding employment services under TAA reinforces the regulatory requirement at 20 CFR 618.325 to co-enroll TAA participants in the WIOA Dislocated Worker program. This will ensure that appropriate employment services and support services are available the TAA participants under Reversion 2021.
One of the most significant impacts of Reversion 2021 is the tightening of deadlines for enrollment in training. Instead of 26 weeks from certification or separation, workers now have only 8 weeks from certification, or 16 weeks from separation, whichever is later, to enroll in training. The national average on training enrollment is 24 weeks. Meeting the new deadlines will be challenging and will require states to be more vigilant on outreach to workers and working with them to explore training opportunities at a faster pace. As a reminder on this, there is still no waiver available for “the participant is still exploring their training options.”
Another tighter deadline is the one for qualifying reemployment under ATAA. Workers must now find qualifying reemployment within 26 weeks of their separations. For some older workers under these 8 certifications, they may already be approaching that deadline. States must ensure that the older workers from these groups are aware of this deadline.
Earnings and Elections
Although the types of TRA and duration of TRA remain unchanged from the 2015 provisions, workers will no longer be able to earn up to their weekly benefit amount without penalty. In addition, at the end of their benefit year, many workers will move back onto a UI claim – which is usually lower than their TRA amount. Case managers should make sure that participants are aware of this and that earnings while in training may impact their benefits at the end of their benefit year.
In order to assist states with implementing the Reversion 2021 provisions, there is now a Trade 101 slide deck with a recording available that may help state and local staff with understanding TAA through the lens of Reversion 2021. Any states with specific questions should address them to the appropriate ETA Regional Office.