Workers and former workers of Peabody Southeast Mining, LLC, Shoal Creek Mine in Oakman, Alabama may be eligible for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 (TAARA 2015). According to the U.S. Department of Labor website, the act “provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports.”
A petition was filed on behalf of the workers and was certified by the U.S. Department of Labor on January 19, 2021, according to Secretary Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama Department of Labor. The Shoal Creek mine, which spans three counties, closed in October 2020. The closing was due to revenue loss and weakening demand for coal, according to Larry Spencer, the district vice president for the union representing the miners.
According to the press release, the petition covers periods of unemployment occurring on or after October 30, 2019, through January 19, 2023. Under the TAARA 2015 Act, displaced workers may be eligible for benefits such as training, job search and relocation assistance, and Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). For additional information on the HCTC, they can visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/HCTC.
If workers have used all their cash benefits under other programs, they could be eligible for additional benefits. In order to receive Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) benefits, workers “must enroll in training within 26 weeks of the certification date or their last qualifying separation, or a waiver of the training requirement must be granted by the state Employment Service Division of the Alabama Department of Labor.”
Additionally, because Peabody Southeast Mining, LLC, Shoal Creek Mine was certified for Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA), workers 50 years of age and older, who obtain full-time employment after their separation from the affected employer, may be eligible for training and allowances under the RTAA program.
Washington stated that potentially eligible individuals will be notified individually as soon as they are identified.