WIC Program A Quick Guide, Eligibility, Benefits, and More. ‘Women, Infants, and Children’ (WIC) is a specialized program by the US government. It provides special facilities for pregnant women and young children. It has become popular since it started. If you are looking for a WIC Program facility and eligibility, then this guide will be helpful.
WIC program provides various classes for pregnant women and the parents of the children. They offer several classes that make people more aware of their child’s health and nutrition. Keep reading as we are sharing every detail in this article.
As we mentioned above, this program does not provide service to everyone. So, you need to find out if you or your child is eligible for this program. Moreover, we will also cover the benefits and the service coverage by Women, Infants, and Children program. Plus, you will also find out how to apply for this service. Let’s find out.
What is WIC Program?
Before we start with the service and benefits WIC Program provides, we need to know a few details of it. The United States Department of Agriculture started this program in 1974. WIC Program was created to help low-income pregnant women, infants, and children up to the age of 5.
Women, Infants, and Children Program is available in all the states of the USA. Moreover, this program is also available in places like the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and Guam. WIC is also available for Indian Tribal Organizations.
Federal grants mainly arrange funds for this service. However, various state agencies take care of the administration. You will get WIC service from the country health department, hospitals, and schools.
Eligibility of WIC Program
There are many factors that will define your eligibility for WIC Program. As we mentioned before, not every person can be eligible for this. This is why the government has divided the eligibility criteria into four segments.
In the following, we will cover these four eligibility criteria. So, you can easily find out if you or your family can get help from WIC service.
The residency requirement is one of the major factors. They will check before providing any service. This is why an applicant has to be a resident of the state where they are applying. For example, if you want benefits from Brooklyn NY WIC Program, you have to be a resident of New York.
If you are from an area where the Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) is administrating the WIC service, make sure the requirements should meet by the ITO.
Even after matching the residency requirements, you need some categorical requirements to get the WIC service. These requirements include:
- Pregnancy – during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth
- Postpartum – after 6 months of the birth of an infant
- Breastfeeding – up to infant’s first birthday
- For infants – up to the first birthday
- For children – up to the fifth birthday
When a pregnant woman is applying for WIC Program, her newborn baby will also get the facility. For children under age 5, their parents can apply for this program individually.
One of the crucial requirements is the income requirement. Surely, the administrators will check your income before providing the service. However, the income standard varies between different states.
On the other hand, if you are receiving some government benefits, you will get WIC automatically. For example, if you receive benefits like Medicaid, TANF, and SNAP, then you will qualify for WIC.
Nutrition Risk Requirements
Every applicant needs to have ‘nutrition risk’ by a health professional. You can either get this done at a WIC clinic or your personal healthcare provider’s clinic. They will check your height and weight. You also need to take a blood test.
Someone needs at least one nutrition risk to qualify for this program. These nutrition risks include anemia, underweight, history of poor pregnancy outcome,s and more.
How to Check WIC Eligibility
You can also check the eligibility for this program. To check the eligibility, first, go to the screening tool of the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services. Then, check if any of your family members are eligible for this service.
However, it’s not the final test. You have to file an application. WIC service assistant is available in 13 languages.
Benefits of WIC Program
Finally, you know what is ‘women, infants, and children’ program and the eligibility requirements of it. If you still don’t know the benefits of this program, then we are here to help you out.
There are many types of foods provided by this service. They provide foods and supplements with specific nutrients. WIC Program mostly provides supplements like baby foods, fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, and more.
For pregnant women, this program offers iron-fortified adult cereal, iron-fortified infant formula, and more. Moreover, they also offer special infant formulas for new born babies. Although your child needs a proper medical check-up before receiving these supplements.
Other Benefits of WIC Program
Besides offering supplements, WC Program also provides various benefits to people. As we mentioned before, this program offers pre-health check-up during the eligibility test. Moreover, WIC service provides things like health screening, breastfeeding counseling, immunization screening, and more.
They also offer several classes for parents. Here they teach parents what a child should eat as they grow. These classes are covered every six months during the child is under the WIC program. Both online and offline classes are available for parents.
You may know this program helps people who have a low income. So, it will also cover a lot of expenses. A pregnant woman can save $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid costs. Moreover, this program also reduces the rate of low-birth babies. So, this program is very cost beneficial.
Services Provided by WIC Program
Finally, you know the benefits of this program. There are various services provided by WIC Program. If you are still not clear about the service by this, let’s have a look:
- Breastfeeding support
- Breastfeeding education
- Nutrition education
- Money-saving system
- Screening referrals
- Several vouchers to buy WIC approved fruits and vegetables
- Supplements for pregnant women, infants, and children
These are the basic service that WIC provides alongside beneficial services. However, if you need to know more about this program, you can get information from officials.
Where to Apply For WIC Program
This program is available for all fifty states of the US. If you need to know the details you can contract various places. You can file an application in locations like schools, hospitals, clinics, mobile clinics, county health departments, public housing sites, community centers, and Indian health service centers.
As we mentioned before, you need to go for a nutrition risk test. However, you can also consult your doctor instead of going to a WIC clinic.
When you are getting benefits from WIC Program, it will really ease your problems. Moreover, you can give your child a better life. As a pregnant woman, you will get a lot of benefits from this program. For more queries, you can ask a health care provider or someone who is directly involved with WIC.