Learn About WIC in Colorado
Colorado WIC is a nutrition assistance program that provides benefits to low-income women, children and infants that meet residency and nutritional risk requirements. Numerous benefits are provided through the program, including financial assistance for free nutritious food items, personalized nutrition consultation and referrals for other forms of medical and dental care. Your local WIC office will provide you with the means to apply for the program by participating in a scheduled appointment in which eligibility will be determined and a further explanation of benefits will be provided.
When considering the WIC program in Colorado, it is very important that you review eligibility requirements in order to determine whether you or your child is eligible to receive benefits. Benefits can only be provided to select groups of individuals and further qualification requirements include income, residency and nutrition risk caused by a medical or dietary condition.
What are the WIC requirements in Colorado?
Before finding a WIC office, it is worth taking a look at the eligibility requirements of the program in order to better prepare for your appointment and determine whether or not you may qualify for assistance. As stated previously, this program aids certain categories of individuals, including:
- Women who are currently pregnant.
- Postpartum woman who are not breastfeeding and delivered a child within six months of the application date.
- Women who are breastfeeding, up to one year after the delivery of a baby.
- Children who are up to five years of age.
However, it is worth knowing that a priority system exists in some counties within the state, such as Weld, Rio Grande, Conejos and Costilla counties. In these counties, not all of the above categories of individuals can be served due to a limited availability of funds in those counties.
Further WIC eligibility includes residency, income and nutritional risk. In order to receive benefits in Colorado, you must be a Colorado resident and you cannot be receiving benefits from this program through another state. To meet WIC qualifications related to income, your household’s combined income cannot excited the income limits that have been set by the state. These limits are based upon poverty guidelines and reassessed each year. If you are currently receiving benefits from another public assistance program, such as TANF, SNAP or Medicaid, you will automatically meet income related eligibility requirements for this program.
Finally, Colorado WIC eligibility is also based upon nutritional risk due to a medical or dietary condition. Examples of conditions that may qualify as a nutritional risk include poor diet, overweight, underweight, a history of poor pregnancy outcomes, anemia and premature birth.
How to Apply for WIC in Colorado
A Colorado WIC application can only be submitted in person by contacting your local office over the phone and scheduling an in person appointment. This appointment is designed to provide you with further information about the program, benefits and how to use benefits as well as determine whether or not you or your children may be eligible to receive assistance.
When learning how to apply for WIC, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the list of documentation that you will need to provide during your appointment as these documents will help your case worker determine your eligibility. Furthermore, it is worth knowing what to expect during your appointment so that you may be better prepared for it.
WIC online applications are not currently available due to the fact that applications are only accepted in person by appointment. Walk-ins are not generally accepted.
You can learn more about the application process by downloading our helpful guide.
What can you get with WIC in Colorado?
Colorado WIC benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Monthly financial benefits that can be used to purchase healthy foods to supplement your family’s diet.
- Free health screenings and referrals for medical, dental and other health-related services.
- At each visit to the local office (at least once every three months) beneficiaries are provided with personalized nutrition consultations and breastfeeding support.
- Information regarding other community resources and assistance programs that a family may qualify for.
WIC checks are no longer used in Colorado. Instead, Colorado provides beneficiaries with an eWIC card that can be used at check out in a similar fashion to a debit or credit card. Authorized foods are automatically withdrawn from the balance of an account. Not only does this system make check out times faster, but it eliminates the need for you to visit your local office on a monthly basis in order to pick up checks. A WIC balance can also easily be checked with this system and you can find more information about purchased and approved items. At the end of each month, you and your family will receive a report of the total amount of each food benefit that was used for the month.
A list of WIC approved foods will be provided to you when you are approved to receive benefits through the program. However, you can generally expect to be able to purchase items such as:
- Fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen).
- Whole grain items, such as wheat bread, corn tortillas, whole wheat tortillas, whole grain bread, oats and whole wheat pasta.
- Breakfast cereals.
- Milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs.
- Tofu and canned fish.
- Juice items.
- Peanut butter.
- Dry and canned beans.
- Baby food and formula.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Colorado
By preparing for your Colorado WIC appointment, you will know the documentation that you will need to bring with you to your appointment as well as have a better understanding regarding what to expect during the appointment. As stated previously, this appointment will be to determine whether or not you and your family are eligible for assistance, provide further information about the program and benefits and assess whether or not there is a nutritional risk present for each applicant.
When applying for WIC, it is important that you bring your children with you to your local office for your appointment. Additionally, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Immunization records for infants and children.
- Identification for each family member applying for the program, including children. This can be done with drivers licenses, Medicaid cards, identification cards, Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports and hospital documents.
- Proof of your Colorado address. To satisfy this requirement, you can provide your driver’s license, recent utility bill, government mail, rental agreement, mortgage agreement, vehicle registration or insurance or a recent bank statement.
- Proof of your current or recent income. You can provide proof of your income through a food stamp eligibility notice, written statement from an employer, paystub or recent tax form.
If you visit your local WIC office without the required documentation or without your children that you are applying for benefits for, your application may be denied or you may be required to schedule an additional appointment.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Colorado
After being approved for WIC in Colorado, it is important to know how to check your benefits and when benefits will be set to expire. WIC benefits will expire at midnight on the last day of the month and cannot be used for purchases the following month. Benefits are provided through the eWIC card, which can be used to pay for authorized food items from your total purchase amount. You can view your current balance either by phone or by downloading the WICShopper App on a smart device and registering your eWIC card number.
To learn more about how to manage your WIC benefit balance, download our guide.