|Written by bossypants|
Did you know you may be eligible for FoodShare (food stamps) in Wisconsin, even if you're working? The Wisconsin State Department of Health Services (DHS) provides nutrition assistance to families and individuals through Food Share, and to women and children through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Food Share benefits (funds) are loaded onto a Quest Card, which is used like a debit card at participating supermarkets and retailers. FoodShare funds can be used to purchase breads and cereals, produce, meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. You can even use your FoodShare dollars to buy seeds and plants to grow food for your family.
FIND OUT IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. FoodShare eligibility is determined at the County or Local Tribal agencies in Wisconsin. But, you can find out if you are likely eligible for benefits by completing a short questionnaire on the Access Wisconsin website. (See the link, "Am I Eligible?," under Resources, below.) The questionnaire will also tell you whether you may be eligible for medical, and other, assistance programs. In order to be eligible, you must be a resident of Wisconsin. Need is determined by income, as well as through a calculation of credits for some expenses.
APPLY FOR FOODSHARE. You can apply for FoodShare on line, or by completing a paper application.
FIND OUT IF YOU'RE APPROVED. The County and Local Tribal Agencies have 30 days to review your application and make a benefit determination. You may receive a letter or phone call asking for further verification. It's important to respond as quickly as possible to any requests to ensure you will receive benefits. You will be notified by mail (or possibly by e mail, if you applied on line) when your application has been approved or denied. If your benefit is denied, the letter will include information on how to obtain a fair hearing to appeal the denial.
USE YOUR BENEFITS. Your FoodShare funds will be applied to your Quest Card on the same date, each month. You will choose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use with your Quest Card. You may use your card like a debit card at any supermarket or retailer which displays the Quest emblem. (The emblem is often displayed along with other card decals for credit and debit cards.) A picture of the Quest emblem is shown in the FoodShare application materials. Any unused funds on Quest card will rollover to the next month.
Tips & Warnings
In order to continue receiving benefits, it's important that you respond promptly to any correspondence from your local agency. Also, contact your local agency about any changes in your circumstances (income, address changes, etc.).