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Program Overview

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.

You may qualify for W-2 if:
•   You are a custodial parent with minor children
•   You are at least 18 years of age
•   You are a single Refugee who arrived in the United States with the
last 8 months
•   You are a United States citizen or qualified alien
•   You are having difficulty obtaining or retaining employment
•   You have not quit or refused employment within the previous
180 days without good cause
•   You meet specific financial and non-financial eligibility requirements
•   You are not receiving SSI/SSDI

W-2 does provide a cash payment depending on placement within W-2. The maximum payment is $673 per month. W-2 is a time limited program. No one may be on any placement for more than 24 months or W-2 for more than 60 months. This would include the receipt of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in other States.

If placed on W-2 you would be expected to participate in up to 40 hours of activity per week. Activities could include a work site, job search, workshops or classes. Single parents of a newborn infant can be exempted from activities until the child reaches the age of 8 weeks.

To apply for W-2 you must be screened in person. Call 855-792-5439 to set-up an appointment at an office near you.

Job Access Loan: Job Access Loans (JAL) are short-term loans designed to meet expenses related to obtaining or maintaining employment. JALs are designed for an individual needing assistance because of a discrete financial crisis that cannot be resolved with personal resources and other funding sources are not available or have been exhausted. This crisis, if unresolved, could develop into a long-term problem in which the individual may become dependent upon a W-2 employment position. There is no entitlement to a JAL. The W-2 agency has sole discretion in determining and authorizing JALs. In administering JALs, the FEP (Financial & Employment Planner) must determine not only the appropriate amount needed but also if the applicant has an acceptable repayment plan, as well as balance and prioritize other JAL applications.

Emergency Assistance for the homeless provides assistance for persons with minor children in the household and are homeless or have an eviction or foreclosure notice.