Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
Wisconsin Works (W-2) Manual
Every member of the W-2 Group An adult custodial parent, all dependent children with respect to whom the individual is a legal custodial parent and all minor children with respect to whom the adult individual’s dependent child is a custodial parent. W-2 Group includes any non-marital co-parent or any spouse of the individual who resides in the same household as the individual and any minor children with respect to whom the spouse or non-marital co-parent is a custodial parent. W-2 Group does not include any person who is receiving cash benefits under a county relief block grant program. This is also referred to as the W-2 Assistance Group (W-2 AG), including newborns, must provide a Social Security Number (SSN), or provide proof that any W-2 Group member without an SSN has applied for one, unless the individual is initially exempt. An individual is initially exempt if he or she does not have an SSN, does not have a work authorization, and is a member of one of the following qualified non-citizen groups:
1. Cuban/Haitian entrants, as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980; or
2. Certified, foreign-born victims of trafficking; or
3. Parolees (alien paroled into the U.S. for at least one year under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)- The basic body of immigration law in the United States, which was created in 1952 and has been amended many times. The INA is a free-standing law, but is also contained in the U.S. Code.);
4. Certain battered aliens who meet the requirements of 8 U.S.C. s. 1641(c); or
5. Any qualified non-citizen (see 2.4.2) who cannot apply for an SSN until his or her immigration status paperwork has been revised.
An individual who is initially exempt must continue to complete the necessary steps for obtaining an SSN in order to remain eligible for W-2Wisconsin Works. W-2 agencies must assist the individual with these steps if the individual requires assistance. (See 4.1.3)
See 4.1.2 for suggested sources of allowable verification.
Once an SSN application date is verified, the individual has at least 6 full calendar months from the SSN application date to provide the SSN. The SSN must be provided by the end of the 13th full calendar month after the month of the SSN application date.
The FEPFinancial and Employment Planner may collect the SSN at any point beginning in the 7th full calendar month and ending in the 13th full calendar month. This policy aligns with Health Care and FoodShare policy. To support the policy of all three programs, CWW will prompt the FEP or IMIncome Maintenance worker to collect the SSN anytime the FEP or IM worker completes an Intake, Review/Renewal, or Program Add beginning in the 7th full calendar month and ending in the 13th full calendar month.
Note: The timeframe described above also applies to individuals who are initially exempt. For initially exempt individuals, the individual has at least 6 full calendar months from the W-2 Initial Exemption Date in CWWCARES Worker Web to provide the SSN. The SSN must be provided by the end of the 13th full calendar month after the month of the W-2 Initial Exemption Date in CWW.
Note: Because a W-2 eligibility review is required every 6 months, the latest that CWW would prompt the FEP to pend for or enter the SSN is the 12th calendar month after the SSN application date or the W-2 Initial Exemption Date in CWW. Therefore, the latest possible verification deadline would occur in the 13th calendar month after the SSN application date or the W-2 Initial Exemption Date in CWW. Because any driver flow initiated by any worker will prompt the worker to pend for or enter the SSN when the SSN application date is more than 6 full calendar months in the past, it will be rare that the 13 month duration is reached.
If the W-2 agency determines that a W-2 Group member has refused to provide or apply for an SSN, the entire W-2 Group is ineligible for W-2.
W-2 agencies must only use SSNs and personally identifiable information for the direct administration of the program. Each time a FEPFinancial and Employment Planner requests an SSN, the FEP must inform the individual that disclosure is mandatory for eligibility determination, how the agency will use the number, and under what statutory or other authority the agency is requesting the number. A sample statement follows:
Provision of your SSN or cooperation in applying for a SSN is required to determine eligibility for Wisconsin Works (W-2). The number you provide to the agency will be verified through a computer matching program to monitor compliance with program regulations and for program management. Wisconsin Statutes 49.145 (2)(k).
History: Release 19-03; Release 16-01; Release 13-01.