COVID-19 Update: FoodShare Work Requirements Update

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ForwardHealth Community Partners

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Updates for local agencies, community-based organizations, and providers who provide assistance to members of Wisconsin's health and nutrition public assistance programs.

COVID-19 Update: FoodShare Work Requirements Update

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is committed to keeping the people of Wisconsin healthy and safe.

DHS is temporarily exempting FoodShare members who are able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) from the ABAWD work requirement.

ABAWD Work Requirement Exemption

Any ABAWD who did not meet the ABAWD work requirement for the month of March will get a temporary exemption for the month.

As a reminder, starting April 1, FoodShare members who are ABAWDs are temporarily exempt from the work requirement. Members will receive, or may have already received, a letter notifying them of this exemption. DHS will continue exemptions through September 2020.

Good Cause for Work Registration Sanctions

All FoodShare applicants and members age 16 through 59 must be registered for work unless they are considered exempt. Members are registered for work when they are determined eligible for FoodShare. Members who do not meet the work registration requirements and do not have good cause will not get FoodShare benefits for a certain period of time. This is called a sanction.

Starting in March, FoodShare members will be determined to have good cause for not meeting the work registration requirements due to COVID-19 and will not be sanctioned. DHS anticipates this policy continuing for the length of the emergency period, and at least through May.

If a member has been sanctioned for not meeting the work registration requirements, the sanction will be temporarily removed. If that member is eligible to receive FoodShare benefits, they will get a letter titled “About Your Benefits” notifying them that they are getting benefits again. If the member is eligible to be issued FoodShare benefits during months they were sanctioned, they will be issued benefits for those months. They will get a letter titled, “You Are Getting One-Time FoodShare Benefits,” notifying them of this.

COVID-19 Information

For the latest information about COVID-19 in Wisconsin, we encourage you to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter and dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.