To qualify for the WIC program, applicants must meet eligibility requirements in four areas: categorical, residential, income and nutrition risk.
WIC is designed for women, infants and children that fit into certain categories:
- Pregnant - during pregnancy and up to six weeks after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy
- Postpartum - up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy
- Breastfeeding - up to the infant's first birthday
- Up to the infant's first birthday
- Up to the child's fifth birthday
Applicants must live in the state in which they apply. For example, applicants for WIC who live in Georgia cannot apply for WIC in Alabama. The exception to the rule applies to active duty military families. Military families may reside in Alabama and receive services at the Fort Benning Georgia WIC Office. Applicants are not required to live in the state or local service area for a certain amount of time in order to meet the WIC residency requirement.
To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants’ gross income (i.e. before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines. See the current guidelines used by WIC.
Active Duty Military families do not count the following pay types when calculating family income:
- Basic Housing (BAH)
- Combat Pay
- Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)
- Family Separate Housing (FSH)
- Overseas Living Allowance (OLA)
- Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)
Certain applicants can be determined income-eligible for WIC based on their participation in certain programs including SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
"Nutrition risk" means that an individual has a medical-based or dietary-based condition. Examples of medical-based conditions include anemia (low blood levels), underweight, or history of poor pregnancy outcome. A dietary-based condition includes, for example, a poor diet.
Applicants must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse or nutritionist who will determine whether the individual is at nutrition risk. In many cases, this is done in the WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. At a minimum, the applicant's height and weight must be measured and blood work taken to check for anemia.
An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions on the list of WIC nutrition risk criteria to qualify for the program.
Call 1-800-789-5502 to make an appointment. Locate your nearest WIC clinic. Remember to bring your ID with you.