Eligibility for Wisconsin Food Stamps

Wisconsin food stamps requirements are enforced by the Department of Health Services (DHS). In addition to food stamps eligibility, the DHS is also in charge of distributing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Learning how to qualify for food stamps, or FoodShare Wisconsin as it is called in the state, is important for potential applicants who need food assistance. Requirements for food stamps are based on household size and income, citizenship, residency and ability to work. To qualify for food stamps benefits in Wisconsin, all applicants must supply supporting documentation regarding the above requirements. To learn more information about the requirements for food stamps in WI, continue on to the below sections.

Wisconsin Income Requirements for SNAP Benefits

Income-based requirements for food stamps in WI are at the top of the eligibility checklist. Eligibility for SNAP is mainly based on income because the food stamp assistance program supplies funds to needy individuals and families in order to help them purchase qualified food and grocery items. To qualify for SNAP and to be enrolled in FoodShare Wisconsin, applicants should first review the current Federal Poverty Level (FPL) according to their household sizes. To qualify for food stamp benefits in WI, households must earn gross incomes at or below 200 percent of the FPL and net incomes of 100 percent of the FPL. The income limits for food stamps eligibility in Wisconsin increase as household sizes grow. For instance, a household of two persons will qualify for SNAP in WI by earning much less monthly income than a household of six.

Assets or resource requirements for SNAP in Wisconsin will also affect financial eligibility for benefits. After you have determined your FPL by examining the income of your total household members, you must also consider your household's current assets. Certain resources influence your eligibility for food stamp assistance, including cash, certificates of deposit, savings or checking account balances, retirement accounts as well as stocks and bonds. To learn more about assets that affect eligibility for SNAP in WI, download our free guide.

Once income limits and assets are factored into financial eligibility for WI food stamps, applicants should also take the time to review the deductions. The allowable deductions for food stamps qualifications will help households reach FPL thresholds if they are just outside their desired brackets. Deductions that can be subtracted from income include dependent care costs, child support costs, shelter expenses, standard household size credit, 20 percent of employment wages and medical expense credits for disabled or elderly family members.

Wisconsin Citizenship Requirements for SNAP Benefits

Food stamps requirements in WI related to citizenship are mandated by the DHS, and both citizens and noncitizens must meet the state qualifications. U.S. citizens will qualify for SNAP benefits in Wisconsin if they are able to provide certified documentation, including passports, birth certificates, adoption records, military records and more. Noncitizens trying to meet the eligibility for food stamps benefits must provide alien registration cards and naturalization certificates. Tribal members and Native Americans can submit tribal enrollment cards, written tribal verifications and other acceptable paperwork.

Proof of state residency is also necessary when trying to qualify for food stamp assistance in WI, since funds are allocated at a state level. To prove your residency in Wisconsin and gain food stamps eligibility, you must present credentials that display your current residential address.

Once citizenship and residency qualifications for WI SNAP are met, you must be willing to submit your Social Security Number (SSN). Every household member must supply an SSN or else you cannot qualify for FoodShare Wisconsin benefits. Those household members who do not have issued SSNs can apply for them through the Social Security Administration and then submit proof of the filing to the DHS when requesting WI food stamps.

Other SNAP Eligibility Requirements You Must Meet in Wisconsin

How to qualify for food stamps in WI also means meeting the work requirements for those who are deemed Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs). To be eligible for Wisconsin food stamp assistance, ABAWDs who are between 18 and 49 years of age and fit to work must commit to working at least 80 hours per month (or 20 hours per week). If beneficiaries do not have current employment positions, they are free to enroll in the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program, Wisconsin Works and other initiatives under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to satisfy the requirements of the DHS and receive food assistance. Those who do not have to meet the work requirements for WI SNAP benefits include disabled and elderly family members, pregnant women, those receiving unemployment benefits and others.

Applicants Who Are Not Eligible for Wisconsin SNAP Benefits

If you are still unsure of whether you qualify for food stamps benefits in Wisconsin, take the time to review the groups that will not be eligible for benefits, regardless of meeting all of the above criteria. The following residents are not eligible for SNAP and will be rejected from SNAP benefits in Wisconsin if they choose to apply for assistance:

  • Students enrolled in school for more than halftime
  • Workers who are on strike and did not qualify for WI SNAP the day before the strike
  • Fleeing felons or those who violate probation or parole terms
  • Those who provide false information on benefits applications
  • Anyone convicted of benefits fraud or trafficking

Download our guide to review more comprehensive information about food stamp requirements and eligibility in Wisconsin.


What Are Food Stamps?

Food Stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federal- and state-funded program that provides low-income Americans with food assistance benefits. Eligible individuals and families can use their state-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which are regularly replenished with a set amount of benefits, to purchase approved food items. Learn more about the SNAP program and how you can start receiving benefits here.


Who Is Eligible to Receive Food Stamp Benefits?

Before you can begin obtaining food items with state SNAP benefits, you must apply to the program and prove that you are eligible. All applicants are subject to various requirements established by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. These involve household income limits, resource limits, work requirements and more. To find out if you qualify for SNAP benefits, download our guide today.