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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.

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 with goals to lead to family self-sufficiency.

W-2 has the following paid placements:

Community Service Jobs (CSJ): The CSJ placement is for applicants and ongoing W-2 participants who are not ready for unsubsidized employment. A CSJ placement provides the opportunity to practice work habits and skills that are necessary to succeed in any regular job environment, including punctuality, reliability, work social skills, and more. CSJ work site providers are expected to offer an environment which generally replicates regular employment, realizing that job coaching and mentoring may be needed to help the participant succeed. A participant placed in a CSJ receives a monthly payment of $653 for full-time participation. 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): The W-2 Transition (W-2 T) employment position is for individuals who have been determined not ready for unsubsidized employment and unable to successfully participate in one of the other W-2 employment positions for reasons such as an individual's incapacitation or the need to remain in the home to care for another W-2 group member who is incapacitated or disabled. Those individuals who have permanent verified employment barriers are assisted in securing federal Supplemental Security Insurance benefits. Individuals whose barriers are not permanent, or which allow for work with accommodations are assigned to activities to prepare for successful entry into the workforce. W-2 T participants receive $628 a month. 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 56 days old or less. Individuals in a CMC placement receive $653 per month 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 of $673, W-2 T participants may be eligible for FoodShare and Medicaid.

TEMP Jobs (Subsidized Employment): Individuals who have the basic skills, but lack sufficient work experience to meet employer requirements, may be placed in a TEMP 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. TEMP 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.

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 United States Citizen or Qualified Alien
•   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 is a time limited program not to exceed 60 months, including the receipt of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in other States. Additional months can be provided under some circumstances.

To apply for W-2 Call 855-792-5439 to schedule an enrollment 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 financial crisis that cannot be resolved with personal resources and other funding sources are not available or have been exhausted.

Emergency Assistance: Emergency Assistance (EA) is a W-2 Related Program that provides funding housing and utility aid to families with a child(ren). Eligibility criteria is very similar to W-2. In addition to financial and nonfinancial eligibility criteria, EA applicants must be experiencing a current emergency due to homelessness, impending homelessness, energy crisis, fire, flood, or natural disaster. Receiving EA assistance does not require W-2 work program participation, but applicants are encouraged to also apply for W-2.