Family Employment Program (FEP)

Program Purpose

FEP provides short-term assistance for

  • people not working
  • underemployed one-parent families with dependent children
  • pregnant women in their third trimester.

Some two-parent families may get FEP if one of the parents has been determined disabled. 


To receive FEP you must:

  • Have one child under 18 (some 18-year-olds may be eligible if they are in school and expect to graduate before age 19); or
  • Be a single, pregnant woman in your third trimester.

Periodic Reviews

Your DWS worker, following DWS rules, will tell you how often your FEP case must be reviewed to see if you still get FEP.  The number of your reviews depends on your situation.  Be sure to respond to any review notices you get in the mail.  Call your local DWS center so that your benefits are not cut off. If you are unable to get your documents, notify DWS and your caseworker and ask for help to get the information.

Property Limits

You may own certain property and still be eligible for FEP. 


You will be required to have an assessment with your caseworker to get FEP. 

Employment Plans

In order to get FEP benefits, you must create an employment plan with your caseworker.  DWS can withhold some money if they think you are not following the plan.   If you disagree with DWS, DWS should start a "conciliation process." You can request the conciliation process as well.  There are several possible results from the conciliation process, including termination. If you are not happy with the result, you may request a hearing. Request the hearing in writing, and keep a copy for yourself. 

Time Limits

Applicants for FEP are limited to 36 months of benefits during the lifetime of the parent. In certain circumstances, month-by-month extensions may be granted. If you feel that you should be granted an extension, please consult your case-worker. The 36 months do not need to be consecutive to count toward the time limit. Benefits received in another state count toward the limit. Even months in which you receive partial or reduced assistance count toward the time limit. The time limit does not apply to "child only" cases, including cases where:

  • Assistance is being provided to a child residing with a caretaker relative; or
  • All parents in the household are SSI recipients.

In some circumstances, month-by-month extensions are available. If you think you may qualify or be in need of an extension, please talk to your case worker.


You must cooperate with DWS by providing accurate information concerning the father of your children. 

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