If you receive a letter stating that WIC denied your application, get terminated from the program or are asked to repay the cash value of benefits you received, you are not eligible to collect benefits. However, in these instances, every state gives you the right to appeal the WIC program’s decision. In order to do this, you will need to submit your request within a certain time frame, or you will be unable to appeal your WIC office’s resolution.
You can appeal your WIC center’s decision to terminate your benefits or deny your application in a few ways. The appeal process gives you the right to a fair hearing. The hearing is what allows you to provide details on why you deserve to collect benefits. The sections below provide information on why a facility may rule you as ineligible to receive WIC assistance and how the appeal process works.
Why did WIC deny my application?
If WIC rejects your application, your local facility is required to inform you in writing. The letter will provide you with information on why your WIC application was denied. For example, your household might make too much money to get benefits. Also, if you do not present proper identification for you and your family, you will not be able to enter the program and will receive a rejection.
Why did WIC disqualify me or terminate my benefits?
When your local facility disqualifies or terminates you from collecting assistance, you will receive a notice. Similar to what happens when the program rejects your WIC application, the notice will explain the facility’s decision in disqualifying or terminating your WIC benefits. You can lose your benefits because you did not fulfil your responsibilities as a WIC member. For example, you may lose your benefits if you did not attend any of the appointments you had at your local office. Also, you can lose your benefits if you use them to purchase prohibited items, such as alcohol or tobacco products.
For details on the different reasons why you can receive a notice of your denial, disqualification or termination from the program, download our free guide.
How does the WIC appeals process work?
To appeal your WIC clinic’s decision to disqualify, terminate or deny your application, you need to inform your local facility about wishing to launch an appeal. The program allows you to appeal its decision in a number of ways. For instance, you can write a letter and mail it your local WIC office. The letter will need to contain certain information about you, such as your name and address.
Additionally, the WIC services appeal process gives you the right to have a fair hearing. The hearing gives you the opportunity to state why you believe you should collect benefits. Also, the agency will present its reasons regarding why the office rejected your WIC application or why you can no longer collect benefits.
All 50 states are required to allow you to get an attorney. However, the program will not pay for the cost of the attorney. Furthermore, during the fair hearing, you can submit evidence or bring witnesses to help strengthen your case and establish all necessary facts. Additionally, if you are uncomfortable representing yourself or need guidance during the appeal process, you can hire an attorney to represent or assist you.
What is the time limit to submit a request for a fair hearing?
You have a limited amount of time to appeal the WIC service decision if you have been found ineligible for WIC. The program will begin counting the time from the date it declined your application or terminated your benefits. If you attempt to submit your request after 60 days, the program may deny your request.
Get details about WIC requirements, how to submit an appeal and more by downloading our informative guide.
Can WIC reject my request for a fair hearing?
If you submit your request for a hearing within the appropriate time period, then most of the time, your local facility will allow you to appeal its decision. However, there are some circumstances where the program will deny your demand for a hearing. For instance, the program can reject your request for a hearing if your family had a hearing in the past.
Will I continue to receive benefits during the appeal process?
If you were denied WIC assistance, became ineligible during a certification period or your certification period ended, you cannot collect benefits. However, if the program cancelled your benefits and you appealed its decision within a certain number of days of the date you received an adverse notice, you will continue to collect government assistance. You will stop receiving WIC benefits once the hearing official makes a decision on your appeal or the certification ends, whichever occurs first.
Learn About the Fair Hearing
Your local facility will provide you with details about your fair hearing in advance, such as the date, time and location. Also, the WIC clinic will appoint the official who will conduct your hearing. The official cannot be someone who was involved in the decision to deny your WIC application or in any other capacity involving your case. He or she must be neutral to both parties.
What happens after my fair hearing?
After your fair hearing, it will take around 45 days for you to receive the results. Also, you will obtain a summary of the trial and an explanation on why the ruling went in your or the agency’s favor.
If the ruling went in your favor and your benefits were discontinued, you will immediately collect WIC benefits. Furthermore, if the WIC office denied your application but you were accepted through the hearing, you will become a member of the program and the facility will provide you with the details you need to begin collecting benefits. However, if the ruling is in favor of the agency, the facility will terminate any continued benefits you are receiving. Also, you may need to repay the cash value of any benefits you collected.