U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210

CLASSIFICATION

TAA

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

TWT

ISSUE DATE

July 3, 1997

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

July 31, 1998

DIRECTIVE

:

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION LETTER NO. 07-94, Chg.3

 

TO

:

ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

ROBERT S. KENYON
Acting Administrator
for Regional Management

 

SUBJECT

:

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program Revised Applicant Processing Procedures

 

  1. Purpose. To clarify operating instructions issued in GAL 7-94, Change 1 regarding applicant processing procedures for workers certified as eligible to apply for benefits under both subchapters A (the Regular TAA program) and D (the NAFTA-TAA Program), of Chapter II, Title II of the Trade Act of 1974.

  2. References. The Trade Act of 1974; 20 CFR Part 617; and GAL 7-94 and 7-94, Change 1.

  3. Background. In response to inquiries from the States, GAL 7-94, Change 1 provided amended Employment and Training Administration Operating Instructions to the States regarding the delivery of services to any worker who is dual eligible (that is, a worker whose separation is covered by certifications under both the regular Trade and NAFTA-TAA programs). It required States to provide every dual eligible worker, at the point at which they become eligible under the second Trade certification, with the information necessary to make a fully informed choice regarding the Trade program under which they wish to permanently participate. The intent of the GAL was to help the States encourage workers to enter training as quickly as possible after they are initially certified as eligible to receive benefits, regardless of the program under which they are certified.

    This GAL amends the applicant processing procedures for States for implementing the amended Employment and Training operating instructions contained in GAL 7-94, Change 1.

  4. Operating Instructions. GAL 7-94, Change 1 revised the operating instructions to the States pertaining to Nonduplication of Assistance to read as follows:

    The intent of this section is to prevent duplication of assistance to workers who are eligible to receive assistance pursuant to certifications issued under both the regular and NAFTA-TAA programs (dual eligible workers). In order to fairly administer this section, State agency staff must fully explain the difference between programs to dual eligible workers. This will assure that the affected workers are provided with the ability to make a fully informed choice regarding the application of benefits under both programs. A dual eligible worker who has entered, or is otherwise receiving benefits under one program, may elect to switch after being certified as eligible to apply under the second program. Under such circumstances, the State may allow the worker's benefits to continue to be paid by the first program until the first convenient break in training as determined by the State. This approach is currently used with Trade eligible workers who are also enrolled under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Title III program. In order to minimize the administrative burden on the States, once a decision is made by the worker after becoming eligible for the second program it may not be changed. This election will also stand in the case of a subsequent separation covered by the same two certifications.

  5. Revised Applicant Processing. GAL 7-94, Change 1 also revised applicant processing procedures to provide greater flexibility and reduce the administrative burden on the States to serve dislocated workers. States were informed that when a worker receiving benefits under one program elects to switch after becoming eligible for the second program, the State may, as is current practice with Trade eligible workers who are dual enrolled under the JTPA Title III program, allow the workers' benefits to continue to be paid by the first program until the first convenient break (e.g., the end of a semester/quarter) in training as determined by the State. This did not affect the prohibition that, in any event, claimants are never entitled to more than one full round of TAA services and TRA on the basis of the two certifications, nor does this new guidance change this prohibition.

    States have recently noted that with the increasing number of workers certified under both programs there may, at some point, be insufficient funding available to provide services to all workers requesting assistance under the regular Trade program. It is estimated that 65-70% of workers certified as eligible for NAFTA-TAA program assistance are also certified eligible for regular Trade program assistance and that a significant number of these NAFTA-TAA eligible workers currently elect to receive services under the regular Trade program.

    Therefore, to keep up with this increased demand for regular Trade program related services, States may, where regular Trade program funds are not available (either the State does not have funds in its regular Trade account or has not received requested regular Trade funds from the National Office), use NAFTA-TAA program funds to provide training, job search and relocation services to dual eligible workers. The State may fund such services for dual eligible workers from NAFTA-TAA program funds until regular Trade program funds are available, at the first convenient break in training as determined by the State. For purposes of participant tracking on the 563 report, workers should be counted as a participant in the program from which the funding for their training, job search or relocation services is sourced.

    The intent is to allow the States to effectively process the increasing number of NAFTA-impacted workers applying for assistance under the regular TAA program. This will ensure that a worker receives rapid assistance, including placement in training, regardless of the program from which the worker formally elects to receive services.

  6. Action Required. State Administrators are requested to:

    1. Convey the information in this directive to appropriate staff.

    2. Request that Trade program staff review the information and ensure that appropriate arrangements are made with both program and resource allocation staff to implement these revised applicant processing procedures.

    3. Encourage appropriate officials to review the present State TAA program funding and benefits delivery system to identify potential problem areas and ensure that regular Trade and NAFTA-TAA program funds are tracked and monitored in accordance with the information provided in this transmittal.

  7. Inquiries. Inquiries should be directed to appropriate Regional Offices.