Foreign trade is a politically charged topic. Is it good for the economy? Is it bad? Does it cost jobs? Regardless of these academic debates, the reality is that it is having effects on the world right now. It is debatable whether or not trade costs jobs on the whole but it is very clear that it does cost some jobs in certain industries, like garment and steel. In response to these job losses, the federal government started several initiatives to offset some of the effects of foreign trade. One of the largest of these programs, Trade Adjustment Assistance, has numerous methods to assist you if you lost your job. This article will go over those benefits and how you may access them.
To access these benefits, you first file a petition with the Department of Labor. You can file the petition by yourself or as part of a group of workers. The DOL reviews your petition and certifies that you lost your job due to trade.
Once your petition is certified, you can take it to your State Workforce Agency. The State Workforce Agency administers the programs supported by the TAA. Depending on your rating, you may be eligible for a variety of benefits including re-training, job search assistance, healthcare assistance, income supplements, relocation allowances and more.
If your employer unfairly reduced your benefits or pay, then you may have an actionable employment claim. If you speak with a lawyer, she or he can review the facts and help come up with a legal strategy.