FoodShare Work Requirement
What are the Work Requirements?
Generally, Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs; ex: people without children) between 18 and 49 years old who do not have any dependent children can only get FoodShare benefits for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search. This requirement has been waived in Wisconsin since 2002 due to high unemployment, but it will go into effect again according to the following schedule:
July 1, 2014: Southeast Region (Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties)
April 1, 2015: The rest of the state.
What requirements must be met?
Federal regulations will require ABAWD FoodShare applicants and recipients to comply with the following work requirements as a condition of FoodShare eligibility:
- Work at least 80 hours each month,
- Take part in a qualified work program like the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program or a program under the Wisconsin Investment Act (WIA) at least 80 hours each month, or
- Work and take part in an allowable work program for a combined total of at least 80 hours per month
Qualified work programs include: W-2 (Wisconsin's TANF program); Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs; any program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1964; FoodShare Employment and Training program.
Are there exemptions to the work requirements?
FoodShare members who meet any of the following are considered exempt from the time limit of FoodShare benefits and do not have to meet the work requirement:
- Living with a child under age 18,
- Caring for a person who cannot care for himself or herself,
- Caring for a child under age 6 who does not live in the home,
- Unable to work due to a physical or mental health condition,
- Receiving or applied for unemployment insurance,
- Taking part in an alcohol or substance abuse (AODA) program, or
- Enrolled in an institution of higher learning at least half-time and meets student eligibility requirements
How will I know if this impacts me?
If you are currently enrolled in FoodShare, you will receive a letter approximately 45 days before your next FoodShare renewal. If you would like to enroll in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program (FSET), contact your local agency to be referred to the FSET program.
If you would like to apply for FoodShare, call 877-366-3635 to connect with our FoodShare Helpline. Once you have applied for FoodShare, your county case worker will let you know if you need to meet the work requirement and will refer you to the FSET program.