Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

1) Are WIC services free?

Yes! All WIC services are free to women, infants, and children, who have a nutrition risk and meet the income guidelines.

 

2) What does WIC consider as income?

Income is counted for everyone living in the household and includes employment wages earned before taxes, self-employment earnings, dividend or interest income, Social Security benefits, SSI, public assistance, alimony or child support payments, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, net rental income, and other cash income.  Foster children under age five are eligible for WIC.  MA (medical assistance), TANF (temporary aid to needy families), and SNAP (food stamp) clients are income eligible, but must provide income documentation.      

 

3) What if I am a grandparent, father, or foster parent?

If you are a grandparent, father, or foster parent who has custody of a child under age 5, you may apply on their behalf.  If you do not have custody, you may accompany the child and their parent to the WIC appointment and you may become a proxy.  A proxy is a person who acts on behalf of the WIC parent/caretaker to come to WIC to pick up vouchers and/or to go to the grocery store to redeem them.

 

4) What if I’m a teen?  Do I qualify if I live with my Mom or Dad?

In most cases, if you are a teen, you must count all of the income of your household when determining if you are eligible for WIC.  Please call your local WIC office to find out if you are income eligible.

5) Why does WIC limit formulas to iron fortified?

One of WIC’s goals is to reduce rates of anemia.  If a mother chooses not to breastfeed, iron fortified formulas help prevent anemia.  WIC does not provide low iron formulas because they do not provide enough iron for normal growth and development.  Lack of iron can impact cognitive development and affect learning later in life.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend iron-fortified formula for all formula fed infants for the entire first year of life.

  

6) Why do participants receive less milk, cheese, and eggs than they did before October 1, 2009?   

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that WIC food packages align better with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The reduction in the amount of milk, cheese, and eggs is consistent with the Dietary Guidelines to decrease saturated fat and cholesterol.  Additionally, by lessening the amount of milk, cheese, and eggs; WIC is able to offer participants new and fresh choices in other food groups.

 

7) Why is there a requirement to provide reduced-fat milk for women and children over two years of age?

Only reduced-fat milk is provided for women and children 2-5 years to align with the recommendation of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to decrease saturated fat and cholesterol. 

 

8) How does someone report a complaint or suspected program abuse?

To report Program abuse or a complaint, call 1-800-942-9467 and you will be connected with the local WIC agency serving that county.  WIC staff investigates all complaints or reports of alleged Program abuse and takes appropriate action if warranted.  If you have already contacted the local WIC agency with no satisfaction, please call the State Agency at 717-783-1289.  WIC will keep the name of the reporter confidential if requested.