Getting Help From Others With Your Eligibility and/or Benefits

Certain people and organizations can help you with your eligibility and/or benefits for programs you are applying for or are enrolled in. These people and organizations include legal guardians, conservators, powers of attorney, authorized representatives, FoodShare authorized buyers, and FoodShare alternate payees.

Representative Types Quick Reference, P-02176

Legal Guardian, Power of Attorney, and Conservator

A legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney is a person who has been appointed to act on behalf of another person who is unable to care for himself or herself.

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

A legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney can act on your behalf in all matters related to your eligibility and benefits.

For what programs can my legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney act on my behalf?

A legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney can act on your behalf for any program you are applying for or are enrolled in.

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

Yes. Your legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney will get letters about your eligibility and benefits instead of you.

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

A legal guardian and conservator must be appointed by a judge or court order.

You can appoint a power of attorney.

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

Yes. Your legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney must send copies of the documents about his or her appointment to your agency.

Your legal guardian, conservator, or power of attorney cannot act on your behalf until your agency has those documents.

 

Authorized Representative

An authorized representative is a person or an organization that is familiar with your household’s circumstances and that you trust to act on your behalf.

Who can be an authorized representative?

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

  • People who are disqualified for an intentional FoodShare program violation cannot serve as an authorized representative during their disqualification period unless no one else is able to serve as an authorized representative.
  • Homeless meal providers cannot serve as an authorized representative for a homeless food unit. A food unit is one or more people who live together and buy and make food together.
  • Agency employees who help determine eligibility or benefits may not serve as an authorized representative. Special written approval may be given for them to serve as an authorized representative in certain circumstances though.
  • Retailers who are authorized to accept FoodShare benefits may not act as an authorized representative.

What can an authorized representative do?

An authorized representative may do any or all of the following on your behalf:

  • Apply for or renew benefits
  • Report changes to your information
  • Work with your agency on any matters related to your benefits
  • File grievances and appeals about your eligibility for programs you are applying for or are enrolled in

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

If you are applying for or are enrolled in a health care program (for example, Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, or Family Planning Only Services), you can also choose to have your authorized representative do all of the following:

  • Get your ForwardHealth card instead of you
  • Enroll you in an HMO (health maintenance organization)
  • Talk to ForwardHealth Member Services or your HMO about a bill, service, or other medical information, including protected health information
  • File grievances and appeals about your health care services (for example, treatment and bills)

This is only an option if your authorized representative is a person and not an organization. To let your authorized representative help you with your health care services, you must 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?

Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, FoodShare, Family Planning Only Services, and Caretaker Supplement.

Note: If you are enrolled in one of the programs above and Wisconsin Works (W-2), your authorized representative can also act on your behalf for W-2.

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

Yes, if you want, your authorized representative can get copies of letters about your eligibility and benefits for Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, FoodShare, Family Planning Only Services, and Caretaker Supplement. If you choose this option, you will also get the letters.

Note: If you are enrolled in Wisconsin Works (W-2) or Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy in addition to one of the programs listed above and you choose for your authorized representative to get copies of your letters, your authorized representative will also be able to look at or get copies of letters from W-2 and Wisconsin Shares.

How many authorized representatives can I have?

You can only have one authorized representative at a time.

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

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

How do I appoint an authorized representative?

You can appoint an authorized representative for Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, FoodShare, Family Planning Only Services, and Caretaker Supplement through:

Make sure that you, your authorized representative, and at least one witness fill out all the required fields. If you don’t, your authorized representative appointment will not be valid, and your authorized representative cannot act on your behalf.

To appoint an authorized representative for Wisconsin Works (W-2), fill out and submit the paper Wisconsin Works (W-2) and Related Programs Authorization of Participant Representation form (DCF-F-DWSP2375).

Note: You cannot have an authorized representative for Wisconsin Shares.

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

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

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

Either you or the organization must let your agency know who the new contact person is 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 of the removal. Examples of this are a signed statement or one of the paper forms:

 

FoodShare Authorized Buyer

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

What can an authorized buyer do?

An authorized buyer can buy food for your household.

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

FoodShare.

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

No.

Does my authorized buyer get a QUEST card?

Yes. Your authorized buyer will get a QUEST card with his or her name on it. You will also get a QUEST card with your name on it.

How many authorized buyers can I have?

You can only have one authorized buyer at a time.

Can I have an authorized buyer and a legal guardian, conservator, 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 a person who can use your FoodShare benefits to buy food for your household.

What can an alternate payee do?

An alternate payee can buy food for your household.

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

FoodShare.

Does my alternate payee get letters about my eligibility and benefits?

No.

Does my alternate payee get a QUEST card?

Yes. Your alternate payee will get a QUEST card instead of your getting one. The QUEST card will have your alternate payee’s name on it.

How many alternate payees can I have?

You can only have one alternate payee at a time.

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

Yes.

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

Yes.

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?

An authorized buyer gets a QUEST card in addition to your getting one. An alternate payee gets a QUEST card instead of your getting one.

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 and the name of the alternate payee you want to remove.

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

 

Access to Your Eligibility Information Only

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 the Release of Confidential Information Authorization for Wisconsin Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, FoodShare, Family Planning Only Services, SeniorCare, and Caretaker Supplement, F-02340, to allow your agency to share the information.

Last Revised: June 28, 2018