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Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
WIC program FAQ's July 1, 2009 - June 30th, 2010
No expected changes for upcoming year

  1. What is WIC?
  2. Who administers WIC in Montana
  3. Who is eligible for WIC?
  4. What is Adjunct Income Eligibility?
  5. What is Presumptive Income Eligibility?
  6. Can I apply to WIC directly without being enrolled in another program?
  7. Are there any other eligibility requirements?
  8. Who can apply for the WIC Program?
  9. How do I apply for WIC?
  10. What happens at my WIC certification appointment?
  11. What do I need to bring to the WIC Certification Appointment?
  12. Do I need to renew my WIC eligibility?
  13. How long can I receive WIC benefits?
  14. What foods can I purchase with my WIC benefits?
  15. How do I use my WIC benefits?
  16. What information about citizenship status is needed?

1. What is WIC?
WIC is a nutrition and health program that helps eligible pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy.

2. Who administers WIC in Montana
The program is administered by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

3. Who is eligible for WIC?
WIC is for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or recently had a baby. It is also for infants and children under age 5. Those who fall into these qualifying groups are eligible for WIC if they meet the WIC income guidelines or are enrolled in a program that qualifies under Adjunct Income Eligibility.

4. What is Adjunct Income Eligibility?
If you or a family member is currently participating in any of the following programs, you and your family may be income eligible for the WIC Program without providing additional proof of income: Montana Healthy Kids Plus, Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps), TANF, Food Distribution on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Reduced or Free School Meal Program, or enrolled Tribal member living on their reservation.

5. What is Presumptive Income Eligibility?
Sometimes you or a family member may be found presumptively eligible for one of the programs listed in question 4.  Families that are found to be presumptively income eligible for one of these programs can receive WIC benefits for one month. After one month, proof of current eligibility for one of these programs or documentation of current income must be provided to continue receiving WIC benefits.

6. 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.

7. Are there any other eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for WIC you must live in Montana or work, shop or receive medical services in Montana.

8. 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.

9. How do I apply for WIC?
There is no application to complete for the WIC program. You must schedule a Certification Appointment with your local 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 local WIC agency, call 1-800-433-4298.

10. What happens at my WIC certification appointment?
During your appointment, you and/or your child will have a nutrition screening including a measurement of weight, height, and hemoglobin (a quick finger stick). You will talk with a WIC staff person about good nutrition and healthy eating, breastfeeding and any special nutrition and health concerns your family might have. When you are found eligible for WIC, you will receive WIC benefits 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 education based on the nutrition screening and to pick up more benefits.

11. What do I need to bring to the WIC Certification Appointment?
You will need to bring identification (such as a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, green card, social security card, Tribal ID, or social services card) , proof of address (such as a  utility bill, rent receipt, mortgage statement or landlord statement), the person(s) you want approved to receive WIC benefits and their proof of ID,  and 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).

12. Do I need to renew my WIC eligibility?
Yes. You will need to be recertified about every six months. You will need to attend appointments at your WIC clinic as required for nutrition education and to receive additional benefits for food. During these sessions, you can discuss any nutrition or health concerns you have and receive information and referrals. At some of these appointments, you will be asked to bring in information (see question #11) and have a health screening to continue your WIC certification.

13. How long can I receive WIC benefits?
Providing you continue to meet the income eligibility guidelines and attend your scheduled 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.

14. What foods can I purchase with my WIC benefits?
Each benefit tells what food can be purchased. WIC allows you to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cereals, eggs, peanut butter, beans, milk, cheese, juice, soy beverage, infant foods and infant formula. Participants in the WIC program can use WIC coupons at participating Food Markets as well as grocery stores that participate.  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. 

15. How do I use my WIC benefits?
You can only use your benefits at a WIC-authorized store or you can use your fruit and vegetable benefit with a WIC-authorized farmer.  Each benefit is good for a specific time period. Make sure to use your benefit between the first and last day listed on the benefit.  Each benefit 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 benefit such as 2 gallons of skim or 2% milk, 1 dozen large white eggs or 36 ounces WIC breakfast cereal.

16. 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.