Wisconsin Works (W-2)

Updated June 28, 2019

W-2 is one of Wisconsin’s time-limited work-based programs available to low-income parents and pregnant women who meet eligibility requirements.

The primary goal of the Wisconsin Works (W-2), aka Wisconsin TANF, is self sufficiency. The program offers W-2 participants cash payments of up to $653 a month for participating in job training and employment programs.

W-2 is not an entitlement. You are required by law to participate in work, or activities to help you get ready to work, in exchange for cash assistance.

In order to qualify for W-2, you must be a resident of Wisconsin, either pregnant or be responsible for a child under 19 years of age. Parents with children whose family income is below 115% of the poverty level are eligible.

If your children don’t live with you, Wisconsin offers Noncustodial Parent Services to help low-income noncustodial parents become self-sufficient and able to pay child support.

How to apply for welfare in Wisconsin?

Application for W-2 must be made in person the local W-2 Agency. Find a W-2 Agency. An interactive interview is provided at the ACCESS website to help you determine if you might be eligible for W-2.

Under the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program, Wisconsin also provides temporary cash assistance to refugees during their first eight months in the United States.

If a refugee family has children under the age of 18, they may be eligible for Wisconsin Works (W-2) or SSI, if they are aged, blind, or disabled.