Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is able to provide FoodShare households with the maximum monthly benefit amount based on the number of eligible people in their household if Wisconsin has declared a public health emergency.
Since Wisconsin’s public health emergency remains in effect through January, DHS is able to provide households not currently receiving the maximum benefit amount in January with additional benefits bringing them up to the maximum amount. The additional benefits will be available on QUEST cards on January 24.
The maximum amount that households receive for January will increase from previous months due to the federal COVID-19 stimulus law passed in December. As a result of the law, the maximum amount households receive will increase about 15% for January.
Households already receiving the maximum amount will not receive additional benefits. In addition, the amount households receive may be lower than the maximum amount if they are repaying benefits due to an error.
Households who receive the additional benefits will receive a letter notifying them of the amount. If households are receiving both the increase in benefits due to the federal law and these additional benefits due to the state public health emergency, both will be listed on the same letter.
Partners are encouraged to share a flyer with members to make them aware of the additional January benefits.
DHS will be checking in March that all households eligible for the January benefits received them. As a result, some new applicants or households reestablishing eligibility for January may receive the additional January benefits on March 7.
Issuance of these benefits for months after January depends on the length of Wisconsin’s public health emergency and approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.