ForwardHealth: Having Someone Help You with Eligibility or Benefits

There are people and organizations that can help you with eligibility and/or benefits. These people and organizations include:

  • Authorized representatives
  • Conservators
  • FoodShare alternate payee
  • FoodShare authorized buyers
  • Legal guardians
  •  Powers of attorney

Resources

Conservators, legal guardians, and powers of attorney

A conservator, legal guardian, or power or attorney is someone who has been appointed to act on behalf of another person. This happens when the person is unable to care for themselves.

Only certain types of legal guardians can act on a person’s behalf. These include:

  • A legal guardian in general.
  • A legal guardian of the estate.
  • A legal guardian of the person and the estate.

A legal guardian of the person can’t act on the person’s behalf unless appointed as an authorized representative.

What can a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney do?

They can act on your behalf in all matters related to eligibility and benefits.

What programs can a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney act on my behalf for?

They can act on your behalf for health care and FoodShare programs you’re applying for or are currently enrolled in.

Does my conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney get letters about my eligibility and benefits?

Yes. They will get letters about your eligibility and benefits instead of you.

How do I appoint a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney?

A conservator or legal guardian must be appointed by a judge or court order. You can appoint a power of attorney.

Does my conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney need to provide any kinds of documents to help me with my eligibility and benefits?

Yes. They must send copies of the documents that prove they are your conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney to your local county or tribal agency. They cannot act on your behalf until your local agency has the documents.

Authorized representative

An authorized representative is a person or organization you trust and that is familiar with your circumstances.

What is an authorized representative?

An authorized representative is a person or organization that can act on your behalf. You need to give the person or organization permission to make decisions for you.

Who can and cannot be an authorized representative?

Any person or organization can serve as an authorized representative except for the following:

  • Agency employees who help determine eligibility or benefits, except in certain circumstances when special written approval is given to them.
  • Homeless meal providers for a homeless food unit. A food unit is one or more people who live together and buy and make food together.
  • People who are disqualified for an intentional FoodShare Program violation, except when no one else is able to serve as an authorized representative.
  • Retailers who are authorized to accept FoodShare benefits.

What can an authorized representative do?

They can do any or all of the following on your behalf:

  • Apply for or renew benefits
  • Report information changes
  • Work with your agency on benefits-related matters
  • File grievances and appeals about your eligibility for programs

What if I want my authorized representative to take more actions on my behalf?

If you are applying for or enrolled in a health care program, such as Medicaid or BadgerCare Plus, you can also choose to have your authorized representative:

  • Receive your ForwardHealth card (the card you use for the health care programs you’re enrolled in) instead of you
  • Enroll you in an HMO (health maintenance organization)
  • Talk to ForwardHealth Members Services or your HMO about a bill, services, or other medical information, included protected health information.
  • File grievances and appeals about your health care services, such as those related to treatment and bills.

This only applies when your authorized representative is a person, not an organization. It can also only apply if you agree to the protected health information authorization on the Appoint, Change, or Remove an Authorized Representative: Person form, F-10126A.

For what programs can my authorized representative act on my behalf?

Once they’re appointed, an authorized representative can act on your behalf for these programs:

An authorized representative can’t act on your behalf for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program. You must apply for that program on your own.

Does my authorized representative get letters about my eligibility and benefits?

Yes. Your authorized representative can get copies of letters about your eligibility and benefits for the programs you apply for or are enrolled in currently. If you choose this option, you will also get letters.

This applies to these programs:

If you choose for your authorized representative to receive copies of your letters and you’re enrolled in Wisconsin Works (W-2) or Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy in addition to one of the programs above, they can also receive letter copies from these programs.

How many authorized representatives can I have?

You can only have one at a time.

Can I have an authorized representative and a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney at the same time?

Yes. Your conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney would have to appoint your authorized representative, though.

How do I appoint an authorized representative?

For BadgerCare Plus, Caretaker Supplement, Family Planning Only Services, FoodShare, and Medicaid, you can appoint an authorized representative through:

Make sure you, your authorized representative, and at least one witness fill out all the required fields. If any are left blank, your authorized representative will not be able to act on your behalf.

To appoint an authorized representative for Wisconsin Works (W-2), go to Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Forms Search. Enter “DCF-F-DWSP2375” in the search box. You can then fill out and submit the form: Wisconsin Works (W-2) and Related Programs Authorization of Participant Representative (DCF-F-DWSP2375).

You can’t have an authorized representative for the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program.

What if I want to change my authorized representative?

You, your new authorized representative, and at least one witness must fill out and submit one of these forms:

What if the contact person for the organization serving as my authorized representative changes?

You or the organization must let your local county or tribal agency know who the new contact person is either by phone or in writing.

What do I do if I want to remove my authorized representative?

You must let your agency know in writing. You can send a signed statement or do one of the following:

FoodShare authorized buyer

A FoodShare authorized buyer is someone who can use your FoodShare benefits to buy food for your household.

What can an authorized buyer do?

They can buy food for your household.

For what programs can my authorized buyer act on my behalf?

They can only act on your behalf for FoodShare.

Does my authorized buyer get a QUEST card?

WI EBT card frontYes. Your authorized buyer will get a QUEST card with their name on it. You will also get a card with your name on it.

Your Wisconsin QUEST card is a safe and easy way to buy your food. It’s a plastic debit card with your name, card number, and the Wisconsin QUEST logo on it.

How many authorized buyers can I have?

You can only have one at a time.

Can I have an authorized buyer and a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney at the same time?

Yes.

Can I have an authorized buyer and an authorized representative at the same time? '

Yes.

How do I appoint an authorized buyer?

What do I do if I want to change my authorized buyer?

Fill out and submit the Add or Remove an Authorized Buyer or Alternate Payee for FoodShare Benefits form, F-16004. Make sure you write in the name of your new authorized buyer and the name of the authorized buyer you want to remove.

What do I do if I want to remove my authorized buyer?

FoodShare alternate payee

A FoodShare alternate payee is someone who can use your FoodShare benefits to buy food for your household.

What can an alternate payee do?

They can buy food for your household.

For what programs can my alternate payee act on my behalf?

They can only act on your behalf for FoodShare.

Does my alternate payee get a QUEST card?

Yes. Your alternate payee will get a QUEST card. You will not. The card will have your alternate payee’s name on it.

How many alternate payees can I have?

You can only have one at a time.

Can I have an alternate payee and a conservator, legal guardian, or power of attorney at the same time?

Yes.

Can I have an alternate payee and an authorized representative at the same time?

Yes. Your alternate payee can also be your authorized representative.

Can I have an alternate payee and an authorized buyer at the same time?

No. You can have either an alternate payee or an authorized buyer but not both.

What is the difference between an authorized buyer and an alternate payee?

Both you and an authorized buyer get a QUEST card. Only an alternate payee gets one. You don’t.

How do I appoint an alternate payee?

What do I do if I want to change my alternate payee?

Fill out and submit the Add or Remove an Authorized Buyer or Alternate Payee for FoodShare Benefits form, F-16004. Make sure you write in the name of your new alternate payee, as well as the name of the alternate payee you want to remove.

What do I do if I want to remove my alternate payee?

Granting access to only your eligibility information

If you want a person or organization to only have access to your eligibility information and not be able to act on your behalf, you must fill out and submit this form to allow your agency to share the information: Release of Confidential Information Authorization for Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, FoodShare, Family Planning Only Services, SeniorCare, and Caretaker Supplement, F-02340.

Last Revised: July 1, 2022