Wisconsin Works (W-2) is based on work participation and personal responsibility. The program provides employment preparation services, case management and cash assistance to eligible families.
Under W-2, there is no entitlement to assistance. The program is available to low-income parents with minor children who meet eligibility requirements and who are willing to work to their ability. Each W-2 eligible participant meets with a Financial and Employment Planner (FEP), who helps the individual develop an employability plan.
W-2 has the following paid placements:
Trial Jobs (Subsidized Employment): Individuals who have the basic skills, but lack sufficient work experience to meet employer requirements, may be placed in a Trial Job. Through a Trial Job contract, the employer agrees to provide the participant with on-the-job work experience and training in exchange for a wage subsidy. Trial Jobs are expected to result in permanent employment. The employer must pay the participant a wage comparable to regular employees in similarly classified positions. Trial Job participants may be eligible for the state and federal Earned Income Credit, FoodShare, Medicaid, child care assistance, and Job Access Loans.
Community Service Jobs (CSJ): CSJ placements are developed for individuals who lack the basic skills and work habits needed in a regular job environment. CSJ positions offer real work training opportunities, but with the added supervision and support needed to help the participant succeed. CSJ participants receive a set monthly grant. Individuals who are employed part-time, but have personal barriers that prevent them from increasing their work hours, may be placed in a part-time CSJ position with prorated benefits. In addition to a cash grant, CSJ participants may be eligible for FoodShare, Medicaid, child care assistance, and Job Access Loans.
W-2 Transition (W-2 T): W-2 T is reserved for those individuals who, because of employment barriers, are unable to perform independent, self-sustaining work. Those individuals who have permanent employment barriers are assisted in securing federal Supplemental Security Insurance benefits. W-2 T participants receive a set monthly grant. In addition to a cash grant, W-2 T participants may be eligible for FoodShare, Medicaid, child care assistance, and Job Access Loans.
Caretaker of an Infant (CMC): CMC placements are for individuals who are the custodial parent of an infant who is 12 weeks old or less. Individuals in a CMC placement receive a set monthly payment and are not required to participate in an employment position unless he/she volunteers to participate. In addition to a cash grant, CMC participants may be eligible for FoodShare, Medicaid, child care assistance, and Job Access Loans.
At Risk Pregnancy (ARP): ARP placements are available to unmarried women in the third trimester of pregnancy who have a medically verified at risk pregnancy. Individuals in an ARP placement receive a set monthly payment. In addition to a cash grant, W-2 T participants may be eligible for FoodShare and Medicaid.
In addition to the paid placements described above, noncustodial parents, minor parents, and pregnant women may be eligible for an array of case management services. Also, custodial parents who are employed when they apply or become employed after participating in W-2 may be eligible for case management services. The final group eligible for case management services is W-2 participants who reach their time limit but ask for case management services.
The Federal Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) requires States to design and operate an employment and training program for adults receiving FoodShare (FS) benefits. In Wisconsin, this program is called the FoodShare Employment & Training Program (FSET).
Participation in the FSET program is voluntary. FSET participation or nonparticipation has no impact on FS benefits.
The purpose of FSET is to provide FS members free assistance and support needed to obtain competitive employment or enhance opportunities for career advancement. Services are designed to use the strengths, needs and preferences of the job seeker that will result in successful employment and increased earning potential. Persons interested in receiving FSET services should contact their local FS worker to ask what services are offered in their area.