Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Emergency Assistance

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What is Emergency Assistance?
Emergency Assistance is a one-time payment that can help low-income parents pay an emergency housing or utility-related expense.

Who can receive Emergency Assistance?
Low income individuals who have at least one child in the house and are facing an emergency can receive Emergency Assistance. An emergency could be due to:
• Fire, flood, or natural disaster;
• Homelessness or impending homelessness, or
• Energy crisis.
To be eligible for an Emergency Assistance payment, you must not have received an Emergency Assistance payment in the past 12 months. A worker at the W-2 Agency will determine if you are eligible. 

What can I use an Emergency Assistance payment for?
Emergency Assistance payments can be used to:
• Pay a utility bill if your heat, electricity, sewer, or water service has been stopped;
• Pay a security deposit on a new apartment if you have been evicted; or
• Stop an eviction from your current apartment.

How do I apply for Emergency Assistance?
You must apply for Emergency Assistance at your local Wisconsin Works (W-2) Agency. Please visit the “Find a W-2 Agency” page for contact information.  

What should I bring with me when I apply for Emergency Assistance?
This brochure provides you with a checklist of what to bring with you when you apply for Emergency Assistance. Emergency Assistance is part of the W-2 column.

Find your local W-2 agency

Read the Emergency Assistance Policy Manual