Benefits of Breastfeeding

 



WIC FAQs

Below you will find many Frequently Asked Questions about the WIC program. For additional questions contact your WIC Clinic or Ask a Dietitian.





What is WIC?

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program was created as a pilot program in 1972. The program became permanent in 1975. It was created because of concern about malnutrition among low-income mothers and children. WIC has had a lot of growth since the beginning. It now serves more people in the United States than ever.
WIC provides supplemental nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and referrals to other agencies. WIC is not an entitlement program. It is for low-income pregnant, post-partum, or breastfeeding women and their children, up to age five. The program provides short term help to participants. WIC works with other health programs to better help participants. WIC’s help is important during critical times of growth and development. It works to decrease the risk of poor birth outcomes and to improve health.

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Where is WIC Available?

WIC is available in all 50 states of the United States of America, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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Who Can Apply for WIC Services?

Individuals who want to apply for WIC services must be in one of the following three categories:

Women
Pregnant women Are eligible for WIC services during pregnancy and for up to six weeks after baby’s birth.
Women who are breastfeeding an infant

Are eligible for WIC services until baby turns one year old if they breastfeed exclusively or partially during that year.

Non-birth mothers who are breastfeeding infants. This category includes:

  • Wet nurses
  • Adoptive mothers
  • Foster mothers.
  • This does not include women who donate breast milk.
Women who have had a baby within the past six months

Are eligible for WIC services until
baby turns 6 months of age. This category includes:

  • Women who stop breastfeeding
    during the first 6 months after delivery.
  • Women who choose not to breastfeed.
Woman who have had a miscarriage Are eligible for WIC services until 6 months after the miscarriage.
Infants
Birth to age one Are eligible for WIC services from birth to age one.
Children
Age one to fifth birthday Are eligible for WIC services from age one until the end of the month they turn five.

If a person is not in one of these categories he or she is not eligible for WIC services.

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How Many People Does WIC Serve?

 

Year
Number of WIC participants
1980
1.9 million
1990
4.5 million
2000
7.2 million
2008

Approximately 8.7 million:

Children have always been the largest category of WIC participants.

Of the 9.17 million people who received WIC benefits each month in FY 2010, approximately 4.86 million were children, 2.17 million were infants, and 2.14 million were women.

 

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What Foods Does WIC Provide?

Utah County WIC provides food vouchers each month that are redeemed in local grocery stores to buy nutritious foods. WIC approved foods include:

Different food packages are issued to different clients to help meet their needs. You may receive different foods depending on if you are breastfeeding or not. A woman, infant, and child will each receive different food packages. A WIC nutritionist will determine which food package you will receive.

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Who Do I Call For an Appointment?

To apply for WIC services make an appointment at the WIC office nearest you.
WIC is available in all 50 states of the United States of America, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Utah County has 4 operating clinics.

To find a clinic in Utah County

To find a clinic in all areas of Utah:
http://www.health.utah.gov/wic/pdf/General/Clinic%20Locations.pdf

To find a clinic in all areas where WIC is available:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/statealpha.HTM

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What Can WIC Do for Me?

WIC saves lives and improves the health of millions of women, infants, and children every year. WIC does make a difference! Studies from Food Nutrition Services (FNS) and other non-government groups prove this. It is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective nutrition intervention programs. 

WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and social services. When participants receive these benefits they often see improvements in health. Studies show improved outcomes and practices in WIC participants of the following:

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Does WIC help with Breastfeeding?

WIC definitely supports breastfeeding! WIC clients can receive breastfeeding help and support from WIC. All WIC staff members at each clinic are dedicated to helping women breastfeed. Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are also ready to help. WIC helps clients learn:


Breastfeeding women can also receive breastfeeding aids to own or borrow free of charge, if they are eligible. WIC employees trained in breastfeeding can determine eligibility for:

For Utah County WIC clients call the Breastfeeding Warmline 801-851-7312 for questions and help with breastfeeding.

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How Long Can I Receive WIC Services?

WIC is a short-term program. Individuals who meet the requirements can certify to receive WIC services for a year. If a participant wants to continue to receive WIC services after their certification period they must certify again. Children can continue to recertify and receive benefits until the end of the month that they turn 5 years old.

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What is a Certification?

A certification is the qualification process for the WIC program. If a person qualifies they are eligible to receive WIC benefits for a year.

A certification is done at the first appointment. A person must meet the following qualifications:

A WIC employee may check an applicant’s weight, height, head circumference, and hemoglobin. A nutritionist will review the measurements, discuss nutrition topics, and determine a nutrition risk.

Applicants must be present at the certification appointment. In rare situations of serious illness or hospitalization an applicant may not have to attend the appointment. Contact your WIC Clinic for questions.

When the certification period ends a person will no longer be eligible for WIC services. They must complete another certification to continue to be eligible. They can continue to receive WIC services as long as they meet the WIC qualifications.

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What Do I need to Bring to My WIC Appointment?

You will need to bring the following to your WIC certification appointment:

The individual who is applying for WIC services also must attend the appointment. In rare situations of serious illness or hospitalization an applicant may not have to attend the appointment.

If you have an education or class appointment you only need to attend and bring your WIC Identification packet. Remember, you are able to take an online class before coming to an appointment to pick up food vouchers.

If you have a follow-up appointment you will need to bring the person who requires the follow-up and your WIC Identification packet.

Contact your WIC Clinic today with any questions or to make an appointment.

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What Does WIC Expect From You?

In order to participate in the Utah WIC program, you must agree to follow the Rights and Responsibilities. Please contact your WIC Clinic today with any questions.

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What is a WIC Voucher?

A WIC voucher is like a check. WIC vouchers can be used in many supermarkets. The Utah WIC system uses vouchers to be redeemed in authorized stores for WIC approved foods.

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Which Stores Accept WIC Vouchers?

WIC vouchers can be used in many supermarkets. WIC vouchers are accepted at the following authorized stores in Utah County.

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How Do I Use My WIC Vouchers in the Store?

A WIC vouchers can ONLY be used during authorized dates. The voucher will have a printed “First Day to Use” and “Last Day to Use” dates. The voucher cannot be used before the “First Day to Use”. It also cannot be used after the “Last Day to Use”.

The WIC vouchers can be redeemed ONLY for WIC approved foods. Only the foods and quantities printed on the WIC voucher can be purchased with your WIC voucher. If you choose to not redeem the voucher for all of the foods listed on the voucher you cannot get a rain check for the remaining foods.

Each participant that qualifies for WIC services will receive a WIC Identification packet. This must be taken to the store each time WIC vouchers are redeemed.

A WIC client will need to sign the WIC voucher on the authorized signature line at the store in front of the cashier. The client must sign AFTER the cashier has placed the total amount of the voucher in the “Pay Exactly” box. The signature on the WIC voucher MUST MATCH the signature on the WIC Identification packet. If the signatures do not match the store will not redeem the voucher.

Learn More

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Which Foods are WIC Approved?

Always use your WIC Food Card when selecting your foods. Only foods listed on the WIC Food Card are authorized. For example, you can redeem your check for certain types of cereal listed on the WIC Food Card. If a certain cereal is not on the WIC Food Card you cannot get that cereal. Your WIC voucher will list which foods you are allowed and the quantity.

Contact your WIC Clinic if you have questions or have problems with redeeming your WIC vouchers.

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Is There a Waiting List for the WIC Program?

Utah County WIC almost always is able to serve all who qualify for WIC services.

Occasionally WIC agencies do not have enough money to serve everyone who applies for WIC services. When this happens, WIC agencies must keep a list, called a waiting list, of individuals who want to apply and to be served. WIC agencies then use a special system, called a Priority System, to determine who will get WIC benefits. Applicants or participants determined to be at higher priority will receive WIC services first. Those who are a lower priority will receive WIC services after those who are higher priority. If, for any reason, a Priority System is required at Utah County WIC, participants will be notified.

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I’m Moving. Is There a WIC Clinic Where I am Going?

WIC is available in all 50 states, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

To apply for WIC services or to transfer your certification you will need to make an appointment at the WIC Clinic office nearest you.

To find a clinic in Utah County

To find a clinic in all areas of Utah:
http://www.health.utah.gov/wic/pdf/General/Clinic%20Locations.pdf

To find a clinic in all areas where WIC is available:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Contacts/statealpha.HTM

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How Do I Transfer to Another Clinic?

If you want to transfer to another clinic and continue to receive WIC services you will need to transfer your certification. Tell a WIC employee from the clinic where you certified that you need a copy of your Verification of Certification (VOC).

At your new clinic you will need to have:

You can transfer your certification to a new clinic as long as your certification has not expired. If your certification has ended you do not need to a VOC. You can just make an appointment to certify at your new clinic.

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I Am a Foster Parent. Can We Receive WIC Services?

A foster child who remains the legal responsibility of welfare or other agency can apply for WIC services. The foster child will have to meet qualifications for income, residence, identity, and nutrition risk.

If the foster family desires to apply for WIC services for themselves they will do so separately.

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I Currently Have No Income. Can I Apply for WIC Services?

All applicants must provide acceptable proof of income. If you have no income you will be able to fill out a document stating you have no income. However, within one month you must show proof of income. A WIC employee will tell you the acceptable ways to prove your income. You may also receive a document listing acceptable ways to prove your income.

If you do not have income and have questions, contact your WIC Clinic. A WIC employee will be able to tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.

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I Do Not Have Proof of Income. Can I Still Apply for WIC Services?

All applicants must provide acceptable proof of income. When you call for an appointment you will be told what the acceptable ways to prove your income. You may also receive a document listing acceptable ways to prove your income.

If you do not have proof of income, contact your WIC Clinic. A WIC employee will be able to tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.

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I Do Not Have Proof of Identification. Can I Still Apply for WIC Services?

All applicants must provide acceptable proof of identification. Call your WIC Clinic for information about acceptable ways to prove your identity.

If you do not have proof of identity, contact your WIC Clinic. A WIC employee will be able to tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.

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I Do Not Have Proof of Residence. Can I Still Apply for WIC Services?


All applicants must provide acceptable proof of residence (address). Call your WIC Clinic for information about acceptable ways to prove your residence (where you live). It cannot be a P.O. Box.

If you do not have proof of residence are homeless, contact your WIC Clinic. A WIC employee will be able to tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.

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Does WIC Help With Formula?

Yes. WIC helps those who are not able to, or choose not to breastfeed, with iron-fortified infant formulas. Remember, WIC is only a supplemental program. It will not provide all of the formula an infant will need. Additional formula will most likely need to be purchased as well to meet the infant’s needs. Many formulas requires a Utah WIC Formula and Food Authorization Form.

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Why Does Utah County WIC Only Provide Some Formulas?

Utah WIC clinics only provide only certain formulas, except in a case of certain medical conditions. Utah WIC does not allow low-iron formulas unless a child has hemolytic anemia.

The reason for providing one brand name is due to contracting and rebates. This allows WIC to better stay within budget and help more people. There are many different formulas that are approved to be safe. In situations where another formula is needed a Formula and Food Authorization Form is required.

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When Do I Need a Formula and Food Authorization Form?

You will need a Formula and Food Authorization Form from your doctor or other qualified medical professional for any formulas that are not Utah WIC Contract Formula:

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What Needs to be Included on a Formula and Food Authorization Form for Formula or Other Supplement?

Utah WIC requires a Formula and Food Authorization Form from a doctor or other qualified prescriptive authority if a non-contract formula, supplement, or food is needed. In order to be approved all requirements must be completed on the Formula and Food Authorization Form. The instructions are included on the form.

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Where Can I Find WIC's Policies and Procedures?

The Utah WIC program posts the Utah WIC Policies and Procedures on their website. You can search this document at any time to learn more about how the program works.

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