What Does the Dislocated Worker Mean on the FAFSA? Here’s What You Need to Know!

There are a lot of questions that they ask on the FAFSA, but have you seen the one about dislocated workers? Not sure what it is? We’ll answer that for you!

Main image courtesy of Coolessay. 

Filling out the FAFSA, or the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid can be stressful. There are so many questions to answer, and it is better to do it with your parents right by your side to answer questions for their section of it. Trying to find all of the paperwork and information necessary in order to fill out all of the questions as accurately as possible, it can be something that many students dread doing every year.

Along with it being something that can be stressful, on top of it, there may be questions that you have never heard of before, or are just not sure what they even mean. This struggle can be very common among students and parents filling out the FAFSA, but one question seems to stump people every year and that is the one about dislocated workers.

What is a dislocated worker and how can you answer the question on the FAFSA? If you are wondering what this means, make sure to continue reading where we will answer all your questions!

What is a Dislocated Worker?

We should go over the basics on what it is before going over how to answer it on the FAFSA!

Dislocated Worker
Knowing what a dislocated worker can help you out when it comes to accurately answering it on the FAFSA. Image courtesy of The Labor Tribune. 

Have you ever heard of a dislocated worker? If you haven’t, there are actually five different definitions on how to identify someone as one and you only need to identify as one of these five definitions. If someone has been terminated or laid-off, employed somewhere where the employer stated they are closing in 180 days, self-employed (farmer, fisher, or rancher who could be affected due to general economic conditions), a displaced homemaker, or the spouse of someone in the Armed forces who lost their job due to relocating.

Do you receive any special benefits from being a dislocated worker? Well, you will actually receive a lot of extra help as a result to be able to pick you up back on your feet. Individuals can receive these benefits at their local American Job Center.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Training 
  • Employment
  • Case management services
  • Relocation allowances
  • Income support
  • Job search allowances

All of these benefits can help support someone because of the help of the Trade Adjustment Allowances program, or TAA. The Trade Adjustment Allowances is a program that helps people to learn skills, get credentials, find resources, and even support to help them to find a new career. 

How to Answer the Dislocated Worker Question on the FAFSA

If you are struggling on how to properly answer this question, here are some things to think about!

FAFSA
Filling out the FAFSA can be a struggle, especially if you don’t know what something is. Make sure you at least understand the dislocated worker question! Image courtesy of Student Loan Hero.

Are you in the process of filling out the FAFSA and you’ve finally stumbled upon the dislocated worker question, but you’re not sure if you fall under that category, or just what you should put down? We know this can be stressful, but there are some things to think about before just putting down an answer to get the tedious process over with.

First off, where does this question pop up on the FAFSA anyways? It will fall under the section pertaining to your parents’ employment status and it is a simple “Yes or No” question. If your parents have been laid off, are receiving unemployment benefits, or any of the other reasons we listed above, then you will hit “Yes”.

Now, what happens when one or both of your parents are considered to be dislocated workers? If you answered yes to this question, then this will ultimately lower your EFC, or your Expected Family Contribution. As an end result, this can actually raise the amount of money you can get on your financial aid reward!

While this may raise your financial aid reward, it is also important to report your parents’ income, both taxed and untaxed, any unemployment benefits, relocation assistance, or any other kind of help they are receiving as well. 

What Should You Do After Filling Out the FAFSA?

Since you added a dislocated worker on your FAFSA, here’s what will happen next!

FAFSA Award
Getting your financial aid reward is very exciting, but it’s also important to know what your next steps are when getting your reward! Image courtesy of Money. 

So, you finally filed for the FAFSA. We are sure a huge stress has been relieved from your shoulders, because the FAFSA can definitely be a pain when applying, with all of the information you need and the questions you have to answer. Now that it is finished though, what are you supposed to do after?

There are definitely a few things to consider when it comes to what you should do after filling out the application. Some of these important things to do can consist of:

  • Finding your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Follow-up with the schools listed on your FAFSA
  • Apply for scholarships
  • Make any updates or corrections when necessary
  • Keep the schools listed on your FAFSA aware of any major changes to your financial situation
  • Compare your aid from the schools you applied to
  • Consider what to accept (always accept free money first, such as grants and scholarships!)

A lot of what to do after completing the FAFSA is waiting until your offer comes in for how much financial aid you can receive. What you decide to do with your money and what school you want to go to is totally up to you though, and it’s important that you consider and really think of what is good for you. 

Now you hopefully have a better understanding of what a dislocated worker is and what to do when the question pops up on the FAFSA. Make sure to read over the information we provided so you know how to answer the question and provide the most accurate information possible to your FAFSA application!

Sara Nuss
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