Work Requirement

Time-Limited FoodShare and the Work Requirements –

The term ABAWD stands for “Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents.” ABAWDs are now subject to a FoodShare work requirement to continue receiving FoodShare benefits. FSET can help you meet this requirement, while also helping you to gain education/training, work experience, and/or employment. Adults ages 18 through 52 (effective October 1, 2023), and ages 18 through 54 (effective October 1, 2024) who do not have any children under age 18 living in the home may need to meet a work requirement to keep getting FoodShare benefits. If you need to meet the work requirement and do not meet it, you may only get three months of FoodShare benefits in a 36-month (three-year) period.

Meeting the FoodShare Work Requirement Through FSET –

Taking part in the FSET program is not required to get FoodShare benefits, but for those adults who need to meet the work requirement to continue getting their benefits, taking part in FSET is one way to meet the work requirement and maintain FoodShare eligibility.  If you enroll and participate in the FSET program, FSET can provide assistance with job search, education/training, and gaining work experience, as well as support services including gas cards, taxi cards, bus passes, and interview or work-related clothing.

Tell your FSET worker if you have Good Cause reasons for missing an FSET activity including:

  • Illness
  • Illness of another household member serious enough to require your presence.
  • Unavailability of transportation.
  • Unanticipated emergency.
  • Employment or work program placement is no longer suitable if termination from a job or work program was outside of your control.
  • Disenrolled and re-enrolled in FSET in the same month 
    *Note: only a maximum of 40 hours of good cause can be granted per month.

Some adults may also be considered exempt and may not need to meet the work requirement if any of the following are true:

  • Unable to work: Receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits from the government or a private source; or mentally or physically unable to work, as determined by the IM agency, health care professionals, or social worker.
  • Homeless (in a temporary housing situation, such as transitional living arrangements and shelters, and includes staying temporarily in another person’s residence (up to 90 days).
  • A veteran (a member who served in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Armed Forces Reserve) and have been discharged or released under any condition).
  • Former Foster Care youth aged 18 to 24 who were formerly in foster care, kinship care, subsidized guardianship or adoption assistance at the time when they turned 18 years old. 
  • Primary caretaker of a child under age 6 years of age.
  • Primary caretaker of a person who can’t take care of themselves.
  • Has applied for or is receiving unemployment compensation.
  • Regularly participating in an alcohol or other drug addiction (AODA) treatment or rehabilitation program (AA or other support groups are not treatment or rehabilitation programs).
  • A person who is enrolled at least half-time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education. A GED/HSED program does not qualify. 
  • Working 30 hours per week or earning wages equivalent of 30 hours or more per week at the federal minimum wage (i.e., $217.50 or more per week).
  • Complying with the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program requirements.

If you believe you meet one of the exemptions reasons listed, you can call your IM Consortium’s Call Center, or report a change through ACCESS (, mail or fax.

Great Rivers Consortium (Barron, Burnett, Chippewa, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pierce, Pepin, Polk, St Croix, and Washburn Counties): 888-283-0012

Northern Consortium (Ashland, Bayfield, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, and Taylor Counties): 888-794-5722

Western Consortium (Clark County): 888-627-0430

Even if you meet an exemption, you can still volunteer in the FSET program to receive services.