What is ATAA/RTAA?
ATAA/RTAA is a program within the Trade Act that allows eligible participants to receive up to 50% of the difference in hourly wages between their Trade impacted employment and the new, qualifying reemployment.
Who is eligible to apply for ATAA/RTAA benefits?
First, a participant must be entitled to Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). If eligible for TAA, once you have completed a Trade application, an entitlement letter will be mailed to you that lists your Trade eligibility information. If you are a TAA participant three criteria must be met to qualify for ATAA/RTAA
- Must be 50 years old prior to your re-employment start date
- Must be making less than your hourly wage at your Trade Impacted employment
- Must be physically working a minimum 32 hours per week or be enrolled in full time TAA approved training and working at least 20 hours per week*
*Only applies to RTAA eligible participants.
What is the difference between ATAA and RTAA?
The two programs are essentially the exact same but do have a couple differences:
- The certified petition number will determine if a worker is ATAA eligible or RTAA eligible.
- ATAA must find reemployment within 26 weeks of petition certification or lack of work separation from the Trade Impacted employer (whichever is latter). RTAA participants will have two years from petition certification or lack of work separation from the Trade Impacted employer (whichever is latter) to find reemployment.
- Currently, the maximum amount of payable benefits for both ATAA and RTAA participants is $10,000.00 or 104 weeks of eligible payments, whichever occurs first.
- As stated previously, RTAA participants who can be enrolled in full-time TAA approved training and work 20 hours per week to receive benefits where as ATAA participants cannot (ATAA must work minimum 32 hours per week to qualify).
How does payment work?
- For participants enrolled in the RTAA program the payment procedure is very simple. A form with two (2) available claiming weeks will be mailed to your employer (the employer’s mailing address and contact information will all be recorded when you apply for ATAA/RTAA benefits). The form is to be completed by the “Employer Contact” listed on the ATAA/RTAA application and given to the participant for signature. The employer will then mail the form to the Virginia Employment Commission’s payment unit in Richmond, VA.
How do I receive the payments?
- Payments for ATAA/RTAA benefits are received the same way Unemployment Insurance (UI) is paid and will vary from person to person. If payment was sent to the EPPI card issued for UI, payments for ATAA/RTAA will be on the same card. If UI monies were directly deposited to a bank account number, so will ATAA/RTAA payments.
I signed the forms and my employer sent them to Richmond but I haven’t seen payment. Why?
- The payment process does take time. Usually you should give two (2) to three (3) business days for the forms to get to the payment unit. It also takes an additional minimum of two (2) business days for the money to appear on the EPPI card or in your bank once the forms have been received and processed. If more than 10 days have passed since the forms were mailed by your employer, you may need to contact your TAA case manager to inquire if there has been a problem.
If you have any additional questions regarding the ATAA/RTAA program please contact your local trade case manager or follow the link to the Department of Labor’s website to view the Trade Act regulations: https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/