Source: By STEVE SCHULTZE, Journal Sentinel (WI), June 20, 2007
Wisconsin officials have improperly denied benefits to W-2 applicants who are unemployed but considered capable of working, a state Court of Appeals panel ruled (.pdf) Tuesday. The 2-1 ruling from the Milwaukee appeals court branch found that the state’s creation of a “job ready” category and subsequent denial of cash assistance to those clients of the Wisconsin Works welfare reform program were at odds with the 1996 law.
……. The ruling came in the cases of two Milwaukee women, Yolanda Weston and Sherrieck Nelson, who sought help from W-2 in 2005. Both had held jobs before, but were unemployed and unable to find work. Both had children and were broke when they sought help from Milwaukee W-2 agencies Maximus Inc. and the YWCA.
……. Even though the state officially enrolls relatively few “job ready” people in the program, many more are discouraged from completing W-2 applications because they’ve been told they seemed to be capable of working and would likely be denied benefits, DeLessio said. She and other advocates have accused Gov. Jim Doyle’s administration of using that tactic to trim the W-2 rolls.