Wisconsin Works (W-2)

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.

FAQ #


How to qualify for W-2? #

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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? #

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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.