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Petition approval process

When the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, approves a petition, a certification is issued. The certification contains three dates:  Impact date, Certification date, and Expiration date.

  • The Impact Date is established by going back one year from the date the petition was filed, and
  • The Expiration Date is when the certification expires which is two years after the certification date.

For example… a petition was filed with the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance on May 1, 2005, and certified on July 1, 2005.  


May 1, 2004           July 1, 2005               July 1, 2007
 Impact date        Certification date          Expiration date

A certification lasts for approximately three years.  To be eligible for Trade Act benefits the worker has to be laid off between the impact date and the expiration date of the certification.

When the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance approves a petition and certifies the company as being Trade Act eligible, a copy of the certification is faxed to both the State Trade Act Program Coordinator and to the company.

Upon receipt of the certification, the State Coordinator will immediately contact the company and request the names and addresses of workers who have been laid off after the Impact date. The State Coordinator continues to work with the employer throughout the certification period to ensure provision of an ongoing (if applicable) layoff list of names and addresses of workers through the expiration of the certification.

Once the list of affected workers is received, the State Trade Act office sends a letter of notification, a Request for a Determination of Entitlement to Trade Adjustment Allowances (form 855), and a TAA Information Bulletin to each worker identified on the list. The worker needs to complete the Request for a Determination of Entitlement to Trade Adjustment Allowances (form 855) and return it to the State Trade Act program.

When the Trade Act office receives the 855, the worker's employment is verified with the company and an official TAA and TRA determination is sent to the worker.

The next step is to set up an appointment with an employment counselor at a local One-Stop Job Center to discuss what TAA benefits are appropriate for the worker’s situation.