WIC is for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or recently had a baby. It is also for infants or children under age 5. Those who fall into these qualifying groups are eligible for WIC if they have a nutritional and/or medical need and if they meet the WIC income guidelines or are enrolled in a program that qualifies under Adjunct Income Eligibility.
What is Adjunct Income Eligibility?
If you or a family member is currently participating in any of the following programs, you and your family are automatically income eligible for the WIC Program without providing proof of income: Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, Food Support, Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), Energy Assistance, School Meal Program, and Head Start.
Or, if you or a family member is currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medical Assistance - TEFRA, the person receiving these benefits is income eligible for the WIC Program.
What is Presumptive Income Eligibility?
Families that are found to be presumptively income eligible can receive WIC benefits for three months. After three months, proof of current eligibility, or a pending application for a Minnesota Health Care Program must be provided to continue receiving WIC benefits.
Can I apply to WIC directly without being enrolled in another program?
Yes. Many people applying for WIC are not
currently participating in any other program.
Are there any other eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for WIC you must live in Minnesota.
Who can apply for the WIC Program?
Pregnant women, mothers and
fathers with an infant or child under the age of 5 and foster parent(s)/guardian(s)
with an infant or child under the age of 5 can apply for the children. Postpartum women who are breastfeeding can apply until their infants turn one year old. Postpartum women who are not breastfeeding can apply until their infants are 6 months old.
Only those family members in the qualifying groups (see question #3) will receive the benefits.
How do I apply for WIC?
There is no application to complete for the WIC program. You must schedule a Certification Appointment with your county or tribal WIC agency to see if you and other qualifying family members are eligible to receive WIC benefits. You must come in person and bring all family members applying for WIC to the appointment. To find your county WIC agency, click here.
What happens at my WIC certification appointment?
During your appointment, you and/or your child will have a nutrition assessment including a measurement of weight, height, and hemoglobin (a quick finger stick). You will talk with a WIC educator about good nutrition and healthy eating, breastfeeding and any special nutrition and health concerns your family might have. If you are found eligible for WIC benefits, you will receive WIC vouchers to purchase healthy foods for you and/or your child. You will also make another appointment to come back in 1-3 months for nutrition counseling based on the nutrition assessment and to pick up more vouchers.
What do I need to bring to the WIC Certification Appointment?
You will need to bring a
picture identification (ID), proof of address (such as a driver’s license,
bill, recent receipt or personal mail), the person(s) you want approved to
receive WIC benefits, proof of income (such as pay stubs, tax forms or
unemployment checks) or proof of enrollment in an Adjunct Income Eligibility
program (see question #4).
Do I need to renew my WIC eligibility?
Yes. You will
need to be recertified about every six months. You will need to keep making appointments at your WIC clinic as required for nutrition counseling and to receive additional vouchers for food. During these sessions, you can discuss any nutrition, parenting or health concerns you have and receive information and referrals. At some of these appointments, you will be asked to bring in proofs (see question #11) and have a health screening to continue your WIC certification.
How long can I receive WIC benefits?
Providing you continue to meet the income eligibility guidelines and schedule your WIC appointments, pregnant women can receive
WIC benefits for up to six months after the birth of their baby or up to a year
if they are breastfeeding. Children can remain on the program until their fifth birthday.
What foods can I purchase with my WIC vouchers?
Each voucher tells what
food can be purchased. WIC allows you to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains,
cereals, peanut butter, beans, milk, juice, soy products and infant foods. Food choices and amounts will vary
depending on whether there is a pregnant woman, a breastfeeding woman, an
infant or a child 1 to 5 in the household. To learn more about WIC food guidelines, click here.
How do I use my WIC vouchers?
You can only use your
voucher at a WIC-approved store. Click here to find a store near you. Each voucher is good for a specific time period. Make sure to use your voucher between the first and last day
listed on the voucher. Each
voucher is only good for the foods listed on it. Be sure the foods you select match the size/quantity and
description of the foods listed on your voucher such as 2 gallons of skim or 1%
milk, 1 dozen large eggs or 16 ounces whole grain bread.
What information about citizenship status is needed?
WIC does not require
information about your citizenship status. If you are an immigrant, using WIC services will not affect
your ability to become a U.S. citizen.