Temporary Flexibility for FoodShare Interviews

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

ForwardHealth Community Partners


Updates for local agencies, community-based organizations, and providers that offer help to members of Wisconsin's health and nutrition assistance programs.

Temporary Flexibility for FoodShare Interviews

Typically, FoodShare rules require applicants and members to complete an interview with their agency as a part of the FoodShare application and renewal process. The FoodShare interview is a conversation between the applicant or member and an agency worker to discuss information provided. In the conversation, the agency makes sure the information they have on file for the person is complete and correct.

As of Monday, June 26, certain applicants and members will not have to complete an interview. This is a temporary change allowed by federal partners that will streamline the application and renewal process during the post-COVID period as our agencies also work to process Medicaid renewals for the first time in three years.  

FoodShare applicants and members will not need to complete an interview if the agency has enough information to make an eligibility determination and can verify the person’s identity. The identity must be verified in alignment with existing FoodShare rules. This flexibility will apply to applications and renewals submitted online through access.wi.gov or by paper form.

A person can still choose to apply for benefits or complete their renewal over the phone by calling their agency. However, in these situations the FoodShare interview will be required. This is because all the information needed for the agency to make an eligibility determination will need to be gathered during that interview.

All FoodShare applicants and members have the right to an interview if they choose to have one, even if one is not required. Interviews can be done over the phone or in person at the local agency.

There may be some instances when agencies may need to contact FoodShare applicants or members, even though the full interview will not be required. For example, if an agency determines that there is questionable information provided by a FoodShare applicant or member, or if there is a piece of missing information that needs clarification, the agency will attempt to contact the person and obtain the needed information. If the agency cannot reach them, a notice will be sent asking the person to contact their agency.

An agency will also attempt to contact an applicant or member if someone in the household is subject to the FoodShare Basic Work Rules or FoodShare Work Requirement and they are not already meeting those requirements nor have a reported qualifying exemption. The worker will discuss qualifying exemptions and, if applicable, provide more information about what work requirements must be met and how to meet them. Whenever a FoodShare member is subject to a work requirement, DHS will alert them by sending  a notice

FoodShare applicants and members may still need to submit proof to verify information submitted during the application and renewal process. No changes have been made to verification rules.

Applicants and members will continue to be provided notices about any actions they need to take, including if an interview or agency contact is needed, any proof they need to submit, and when their benefits have been approved or denied.

This is a temporary change that is allowed by federal program rules. DHS will provide an update in advance of this temporary policy ending.