Due: Feb 12, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Purpose of Assignment

A goal of this course is to provide you with a deeper awareness and understanding of the impact that social problems such as poverty have on people, and the challenges they face in working with different systems. This assignment affords you the opportunity to gain experience with the Wisconsin benefits system. You will go through the process of applying for BadgerCare Plus and the FoodShare program. Descriptions of the two programs can be found in the Assignments Module. Completing your application will not only assist you in becoming more familiar with public benefit programs but also in gaining a self-awareness of your values and your ability to empathize with others in need. Finally, this assignment will not only help develop further your critical thinking and writing skills but also the succinctness of your writing.

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Assignment Instructions

This two-part assignment involves your applying for benefits and writing a paper about the experience. Although you will complete a benefits application, you will not submit your completed application on the Access website.

Part 1: Complete Your Application (Allow 30 minutes to complete Part 1)

  • Read the materials posted in the Canvas Assignments Module about the two benefit programs BadgerCare Plus and FoodShare. If you would like additional information, please refer to the program websites.
  • Go to the testing and training website where people can apply for benefits: https://sys.access.wisconsin.gov/
  • Click on “Am I Eligible?” and then click on Next at the bottom of the page. For the purposes of this exercise, you are going to imagine that you are part of a family that has one adult, two minor children, no health insurance for anyone in the family, and a job income of 40 hours a week at $10 an hour. You can enter your personal information or make up information to answer the other questions.
  • When you reach the “Your Results” page of your application, review the programs for which you may and may not be eligible. After looking over the page, click on Next and then Next again. You will be on a page that has a “Print My Information” button. Click on the button, and then download and save the page. You will upload this page with the paper you write.
  • After saving your paper, click on Exit.
  • You will now be back to the homepage. Click on “Apply for Benefits!” and complete the section. You need only apply for FoodShare and BadgerCarePlus. For the purposes of this exercise, you and your family are currently not receiving any benefits. Use the same information for this section, as you used for the “Am I Eligible” section. Do not submit your application. Print the page with your tracking number, as you will upload this page with the paper you write. After printing, click on “Save this Application” and then close your browser window. You have completed Part 1 of the assignment.

Part 2: Write Your Paper

  • You are required to write a 4-page minimum to 5-page maximum paper (cover sheet is not included in this count).
  • Please remember that this is an academic paper so be certain to adhere to the Written Assignment Guidelines Policy located in the Course Policy section of the syllabus, as well as in the Canvas Assignments Module.

Succinctly, critically and deeply answer the following questions:

  1. What was it like to complete the application?
  2. Discuss your thoughts and feelings about applying for benefits. To what extent were you able to allow yourself to envision that you might need to do this? What was it like to imagine you were a single parent with two minor children to raise on a job income of 40 hours a week at $10 an hour? What did you learn about yourself from completing this assignment? Discuss your intellectual as well as your emotional reaction.
  3. What challenges do you think some people may face in completing the application process? Be specific and provide examples.
  4. What new information did you learn about public assistance programs while you were completing the application? How might your familiarity with this process help you to be a more effective social worker? What might a social worker consider doing to make application processes better for individuals and families? Be specific and provide examples.
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