The Economic Support unit determines eligibility and maintains benefits for the following federal and state programs:

The Health Insurance Marketplace/Affordable Care Act (Health Coverage and Medical Assistance)

The Marketplace is a new way to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs.  Whether you are uninsured, or just want to explore your choices, the Marketplace can help you find a plan that’s right for you.    With one application you can see all your options and enroll.  

More information regarding the Affordable Care Act is available Here.

Medicaid (Medical Assistance)

The purpose of this program is to provide health care coverage to individuals and families that meet financial and non-financial eligibility criteria. The following programs are some of the programs included in Medicaid system: BadgerCare Plus, Family Planning Only Services, Long Term Care, Family Care.  

More information regarding BadgerCarePlus can be located at:

More information regarding Medicaid can be located at:

FoodShare (Food Stamp)

This program helps low-income individuals and families to obtain a more nutritious diet. FoodShare is available to families, single adults, disabled individuals and SSI recipients. Each household must meet income needs test. The FoodShare program is meant to supplement a household’s income to purchase food.

More information regarding FoodShare can be located at:

Kinship Care

Kinship Care is a cash assistance benefit provided to non-legally responsible caretaker relatives for the care of a child in their home. Each child is assessed to determine if there is a need for protection or services. A criminal background check of all adults having contact with the child is completed; certain convictions may cause ineligibility for this program.

Caretaker Supplement (C-Supp)

Caretaker Supplement benefit provides a cash supplement to households where all parents in the household are receiving SSI payments. The parent applies for Medicaid for the children, and if eligible the parent's SSI payment is increased based on the number of children they have residing with them.

"In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer"

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)

WHEAP provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations.  Most types of fuel are eligible to receive assistance.  Whether you use wood, propane, natural gas, electricity or fuel oil to heat your home, energy assistance is available if you qualify.  Marathon County Social Services contracts with Energy Services, Inc. for this program.  Further information regarding WHEAP can be located at or call 1-866-432-8947.  The location of the Energy Services, Inc. office can be found at

General information regarding benefits available through the Economic Support Unit can be located at: or or

Q: How do I apply for benefits?

A: Benefits can be applied for online at: or by calling or visiting Marathon County Department of Social Services at 400 E Thomas St., Wausau, WI.  Phone 888-445-1621.

Q: Who is eligible for Medicaid benefits?

A: Medicaid is available for famlies with minor children in the household, pregnant women, individuals over age 65, blind or permanently disabled persons who meet the Federal and State requirements for the program.

Q: I’m on Medicaid how do I find a doctor or dentist? How do I change my doctor or dentists?

A: To find or change a doctor or dentist, you will need to contact your HMO. If you do not know how to get in touch with your HMO, call the Enrollment Specialist at 1-800-362-2002 (TTY and translation services are available) to get your HMO’s phone number.

If you are not in an HMO and need help finding a doctor or dentist, call Recipient Services at 1-800-362-3002.

Q: What can I buy with my FoodShare benefits?

A: FoodShare benefits can only be used to buy food, plants and seeds to grow food. You will not be charged sales tax on items bought with FoodShare benefits. FoodShare benefits cannot be used to buy:

  • Any nonfood items, such as pet food, soaps, paper products, household supplies, grooming items, toothpaste, and cosmetics
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Any food that will be eaten in the store
  • Food that is hot when you buy it

Q: If eligible for FoodShare what type of benefit is received?

A: FoodShare benefits are given to individuals in the form of a plastic “Wisconsin Quest” card. Each month the benefit amount you are eligible for is credited to your account and you my draw on the benefit to buy food items at participating food stores. The Quest card works like a bank debit card; the dollar amount of the FoodShare benefits are put into the account and each time you buy food items, the amount you spend is taken out of your account.

Q: What is Caretaker Supplement?

A: Wisconsin’s Caretaker Supplement (CTS) is a cash benefit for parents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Through CTS, parents receive $250 per month for the first eligible child and $150 per month for each additional eligible child.

Q: Where do I apply for Child Care assistance?

A: Child Care assistance can be applied for through Marathon County Social Services, 400 E Thomas St, Wausau WI 54403, or call 888-445-1621.

Q:  How do I apply for energy assistance in Marathon County?

A:   An application for energy assistance can be completed at Energy Services, Inc.  The location and phone number for this agency can be found at