Arkansas WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children within the state, providing food and other benefits to eligible applicants. You can find a WIC office throughout the state as you can apply for and find more information about the program at Local Health Units within the state, satellite clinics and four clinics that are devoted solely to the program.
Before you apply for the WIC program, it is worth reviewing eligibility requirements that must be met in order to receive benefits. This program is only available to certain groups of individuals who meet residency, income and nutrition risk requirements. By learning about qualifications, you may be able to determine whether or not you or your child is eligible for benefits. After reviewing WIC eligibility, it is strongly recommended that you prepare for your appointment at your local office by reviewing the documents that you will need to provide the office during your visit.
What are the WIC requirements in Arkansas?
WIC qualifications must be met before benefits can be issued. As stated previously, benefits from WIC can only be provided to a select group of individuals who meet additional eligibility requirements. These individuals include:
- Pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women.
- Children who are under the age of five.
Further Arkansas WIC eligibility requirements include:
- Arkansas residency. In order to receive assistance, you must be a resident of Arkansas and be able to provide proof of your Arkansas residency. If you are not a resident of the state, you must apply for the program through your home state.
- Income guidelines. Income limits for WIC are revised each year, but they are based upon the federal poverty line. This program is designed to aid individuals and families who of lower income and therefore, these guidelines must be met in order to receive assistance.
- Nutritional need. You must have a nutritional need caused by a medical or dietary condition, such as anemia, underweight, overweight, a history of poor pregnancy or premature birth.
If a WIC office in a particular county has a shortage of funds or too many individuals are currently receiving benefits, the county may temporarily adopt a waiting list or priority list. Should this happen, benefits will first be provided to individuals who are made a “priority” such as those with a medical condition that is unrelated to a dietary condition.
For further details on Arkansas WIC requirements, download our guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Arkansas
If you would like to submit a WIC application in Arkansas, you will need to call your local office or clinic in order to schedule an appointment as walk-ins are not generally accepted. Furthermore, WIC online applications are not currently available within the state. During your appointment, your eligibility will be determined and you will be provided with further information about the program. Therefore, it is important to learn more about how to apply for WIC in AR including what to expect during your appointment and the documentation that you will need to bring with you.
What can you get with WIC in Arkansas?
The Arkansas WIC program provides numerous benefits to eligible participants. WIC benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Supplemental foods that are high in nutrients that are essential in growth and development.
- Nutrition education that can improve diet and health habits.
- Information, encouragement and support for breastfeeding
- Referrals for other health services and assistance programs.
While WIC benefits can be used to purchase food items, they do not work the same way that food stamps do, as you can only acquire items that are on your approved food list. Commonly approved items include, but are not limited to:
- Peanut butter.
- Baby formula.
- Baby food.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Canned and dry beans.
Get more information on the types of food you can buy with Arkansas WIC benefits by downloading our comprehensive guide.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Arkansas
You can only submit a WIC application in person and, generally, only by appointment. Due to the fact that your eligibility for the program will be determined during your appointment, it is imperative that you bring any of your children that you are applying for benefits for as well as documentation that will be needed to verify your eligibility.
When applying for WIC in AR, you must be able to provide:
- Identification for yourself and each of your children. Accepted documents include, but are not limited to a driver’s license, identification card or birth certificate.
- Proof of Arkansas residency. Accepted documents include lease agreements, utility bills and mortgage agreements.
- Proof of income. Accepted documents include recent pay stubs or tax returns.
Your WIC application could be denied if you do not have the appropriate documentation or if you do not bring any children that you are applying for.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Arkansas
WIC benefits in Arkansas are distributed through an eWIC card, which will be distributed to you once you are approved for benefits. Benefits are provided on the same date each month and any remaining benefits will expire on the last day of the month. You can utilize your eWIC card in a similar fashion to a debit card, but only authorized foods in your purchase will be paid for. Should you have other items in your purchase, you will be given the opportunity to use another means of payment for those items after approved items have been deducted from your purchase.
You can check your WIC balance by contacting the phone number that is listed on the card. Alternatively, after making a purchase, the cashier will provide you with a receipt that will provide you with a balance of your benefits that can still be used in another purchase.