Income for Older Workers: Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA)

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program

What is It?

RTAA is a cash benefit that pays 50% of the gap between what you made in your former job and what you make in your new job. This subsidy is paid over two years, or up to $10,000, whichever comes first.

For example, if you made $40,000 in your old job, and are making $30,000 at your new job, the income gap is $10,000. RTAA will pay $5,000, which is 50% of the gap.

How Do I Qualify?

To qualify for RTAA, you must:

  • Be at least 50 years old.
  • Be making new wages of $50,000 per year or less.
  • Be working 32 hours or more per week OR at least 20 hours per week if you are in a training program.
  • Not be working at the same employment site with your TAA-certified employer.

What if I Make More Than $50,000 Per Year?

If your annual wages are more than $50,000, then you do not qualify for RTAA.

Can I Use RTAA While I'm in Approved TAA Training?

Yes. You can use RTAA without training, during training, or after training. However, your allowed RTAA payment is reduced if you received any TRA payments. Each TRA payment reduces the RTAA amount by about 1%.

For example, if you qualify for $10,000, but you received 20 TRA payments while you were in school, then your benefit is reduced by 20% ($2,000) down to approximately $8,000 maximum.

NOTE: Receiving RTAA before receiving TRA cancels out all future eligibility for TRA weekly payments.

Eligibility Periods and Deadlines

There is a 104-week period to qualify for and claim RTAA. This period starts whether or not you are working.

  • If you have NOT received TRA payments, the 104-week period starts the earlier of:
    • the week after UI payments end from your claim that includes your TAA-certified employer, OR
    • the week after that benefit year expires, OR
    • the first day of full-time work.
  • If you have received TRA payments, the 104-week period starts the first day of full-time work.

REMEMBER: Your RTAA 104-week claim period is reduced by the number of weeks you received TRA payments and your maximum allowed RTAA amount is reduced as well.

Required Documentation

  • Driver's license (or other proof of your age)
  • Last paystub from your TAA-certified employer (for the last full-time week you worked – not severance or vacation payout)
  • Paystubs from your new employer

NOTE: You will need to provide paystubs from your new employer for the first full-time week you worked to get initial approval for RTAA.

RTAA is Taxable Income

RTAA payments must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as taxable income. DWD cannot withhold state or federal taxes from your RTAA payment, so be sure to plan ahead and set aside funds to cover any additional taxes that you may owe. Consult with a tax advisor to find strategies that will work for you.

For more information, see your Benefit Rights & Obligations or your Participant Handbook.