Laid-Off IT Service Workers May No Longer Be Eligible for Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program

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The federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program provides funds for job retraining and other benefits to those who have lost jobs due to international trade, including offshore outsourcing. Benefits include income support, job search and relocation allowances, a tax credit to help pay the costs of health insurance, and a wage subsidy to workers 50 years of age and older.

This program has been in effect for several decades, but the Trade and Globalization Adjustment Assistance Act of 2009 expanded the program by increasing the amount of assistance to those enrolled in the program and expanding the eligibility requirements. After the 2009 amendments, workers in firms that supply services, including in the IT industry, became eligible for the program for the first time.

However, the 2009 amendments were enacted with a sunset provision and expired (after a 2-month extension) on February 12, 2011. This means that workers in the IT service sector who are laid off in 2011 may not be eligible for TAA benefits.

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