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2.10.2  State 60-Month Lifetime Limit W-2 Group Limit Native American Exemptions TANF Received in Another State TANF Received in Another State and Time Limit Extensions


The 60-month state lifetime limit is the cumulative total of the number of months the individual or any adult member of the individual's W-2 Group has participated in, or has received benefits under, any of the following or any combination of the following:

1.             A W-2 Employment Position at any time during a month, including TEMP, CSJ, or W-2 T, even if the payment was reduced to $0.

2.             Any TANF funded program in this state or any other state for which the participant received TANF cash assistance while in that program (see This includes Tribal TANF funds and some months in a CMC placement (see 2.10.8).

3.             The AFDC JOBS program from October 1, 1996, to W-2 implementation in September 1997. See Appendix - AFDC Overview for specific guidelines. W-2 Group Limit

The 60-month state lifetime limit applies to all adults in the W-2 Group. Any month during which any adult in the W-2 Group participates in a W-2 Employment Position counts towards the individual’s 60-month state lifetime limit for both the parent in the placement and the non-placed parent. This includes second parents, stepparents, adult SSI/SSDI recipients, and Non-marital Co-parents. Some of these parents are exempt from counting towards the 60-month federal lifetime limit. (See 2.10.9) In W-2 Groups with more than one adult member, the adult member with the greatest number of months accumulated counts toward the W-2 Group’s 60-month state lifetime limit.  

Individuals entering a W-2 Group raise the W-2 Group’s cumulative number of months, if the new member has accumulated more months than the primary individual.

Individuals leaving a W-2 Group take with them the number of months accumulated prior to entering the W-2 Group as well as the number of months accumulated while a part of the W-2 Group.


Example 1:  Mary is in a W-2 Group consisting of herself and her 4 year old daughter. She has accumulated 30 months towards her 60-month state lifetime limit. Because she is the only adult in the W-2 Group, the W-2 Group is credited with 30 months toward the 60-month state lifetime limit. John, Mary’s estranged husband, joins the W-2 Group. John has accumulated 35 months toward his 60-month state lifetime limit prior to moving back in with Mary. Because John has the greater number of months accumulated towards the state lifetime limit, the W-2 Group is now credited with 35 months towards the state lifetime limit.


Example 2:  After ten months, John moves out of the home and the W-2 Group once again consists of Mary and her daughter. At the time John left the W-2 Group, he and Mary had used an additional 10 months toward the 60-month state lifetime limit reaching a total of 45 months (35 + 10). Because Mary had 30 months accumulated toward the 60-month state lifetime limit when John moved in and she accumulated ten more months during the time she and John lived together, the W-2 Group of Mary and her daughter is credited with 40 months towards the state lifetime limit. John has accumulated 45 months towards the state lifetime limit.


Dependent 18 Year Olds are considered to be children in the W-2 Group and are not subject to time limits. Once a dependent 18-year-old turns 19 or graduates from school, the individual becomes an Excluded Adult and is no longer included in the W-2 Group. If the dependent 18-year-old has a Dependent Child and applies for services independent of his or her parents, she or he would then be eligible for W-2 with the dependent child as their own W-2 Group and subject to the 60-month state lifetime limit. Native American Exemptions

Any adult in the W-2 Group is exempt from the 60-month state lifetime limit while living in a federally recognized American Indian reservation, an Alaskan Native village, or an Indian country occupied by an Indian tribe for a month, if during that month the following applied:

1.     At least 1,000 individuals were living on the reservation or in the village or Indian country; and

2.     At least 50 percent of the adults were unemployed. TANF Received in Another State

In Wisconsin, TANF months accumulated in other states also count toward the 60-month state lifetime limit.

When there is evidence that an applicant has received TANF cash assistance in another state, the FEP must:

1.             Determine the number of months TANF cash assistance was received in the other state by contacting the appropriate persons. The National Directory of Contacts for TANF and SNAP can be found at: Only months of TANF cash assistance received after September 1, 1996 can be counted.  If the contact cannot confirm that the assistance received in the other state was TANF, do not use the information. The months of TANF cash assistance received in the other state does not have to be verified in writing.

2.             Enter the month and years that TANF was received in the other state in the Time Limit Tracking application as OTF-Benefits from Another State. In the details field, the FEP must indicate the date verified and any other relevant information.


Example:  Annabelle moves to Wisconsin from Illinois and applies for W-2. When the FEP contacts Illinois, the case worker confirms that Annabelle received TANF benefits for 24 months in Illinois. If Annabelle is found eligible for W-2, Annabelle will start in W-2 with 24 months accumulated toward her Wisconsin 60-month state lifetime limit. TANF Received in Another State and Time Limit Extensions

If an individual who has received more than 60 months of TANF assistance in another state is eligible for W-2, but has used 60-months on his or her state lifetime limit, the FEP must determine eligibility for a state lifetime limit extension based on the time limit extension criteria at application. 

When applying the time limit extension criteria, the FEP must use information obtained during the W-2 informal assessment. In addition, the FEP must attempt to contact the other state for more specific information about the applicant. If the FEP is unable to obtain additional information, the information gathered through the informal assessment must be used to determine eligibility for a time limit extension.

(See 2.10.6 for more information on time limit extensions.)




Page Last Updated:  08/07/17
Policy Effective Date:  08/07/17