Learn About the Idaho WIC Program
Idaho WIC is a federally funded nutrition program for low income women, infants and children within the state that meet categorical, residential and nutritional risk requirements. The program provides numerous benefits to pregnant women, new mothers and children, including special checks that can be used to purchase nutritious food items, health screenings, nutrition information and education, breastfeeding support and referrals to other social services that a family may qualify for. There is a WIC office in each county in Idaho, making it easy for applicants to schedule an appointment to learn more about the program and submit an application for benefits.
To participate in the WIC program, you must meet a variety of eligibility requirements as the program can only provide assistance to individuals who meet categorical, residency, income and nutrition risk requirements. Therefore, it is important to learn more about each requirement in order to determine whether or not you or your children may qualify.
What are the WIC requirements in Idaho?
You must meet Idaho WIC eligibility requirements in order to receive benefits from the program. Benefits can only be provided to individuals who meet categorical requirements, such as:
- Women who are pregnant.
- Women who are breastfeeding, up to the child’s first birthday.
- Women who are not breastfeeding, up to 6 months after a pregnancy ends.
- Children and infants who are up to 5 years of age.
Idaho WIC qualifications also include income, residency and nutritional risk. This program aims to assist women and children who need assistance the most and therefore the state imposes income limits that must be met before benefits can be issued. These income limits are based upon the current federal poverty line and are therefore reassessed on a yearly basis. Income limits are based upon household size with each unborn baby counting as an additional household member. If you are currently receiving assistance from another public program, such as Medicaid, food stamps or TANF, you will automatically meet income related requirements.
While a WIC program exists in every state, you may only apply in Idaho if you are a resident of the state. If you are not a resident, you must apply for assistance from your home state’s program. Additionally, it is unlawful to receive benefits in multiple states at the same time.
Finally, WIC eligibility also mandates that there is a nutritional risk present in the applicant. This means that you must have a medical or dietary condition that puts you at a nutritional risk in order to receive benefits from the program, regardless of whether or not you meet other requirements. There are numerous conditions that can be defined as a nutritional risk, however, including poor diet, overweight, underweight, low birth weight, anemia and a history of poor pregnancy outcomes.
To learn more about requirements for the WIC program, download our free guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Idaho
An Idaho WIC application can only be submitted in person at your local office. If you are wondering how to apply for WIC in Idaho, it is important to know that walk-in applications are generally not accepted and you will instead to contact an office in advance to schedule an appointment. This WIC appointment is a very important threshold in the program as your eligibility will be determined and you will be provided with further information about the program and benefits.
WIC online and mail-in applications are not available at this time. However, if you have a disability that would prevent you from visiting your local office, you may contact your local office to inquire about further options.
What can you get with WIC in Idaho?
There are numerous WIC benefits in Idaho, including:
- WIC checks that can be used for the purchase of healthy foods.
- Health screening.
- Health and nutrition education.
- Assistance from a licensed registered dietitian.
- Breastfeeding support and information.
- Referrals to other health and social services that a family may qualify for.
Idaho WIC checks can be used for the purchase of authorized healthy food items. You will receive multiple checks from your local office if found eligible for assistance, with each check used for a different food category. It is important to review the face of the check, as crucial information is included, such as the total dollar amount that the program will cover for authorized food items, the date that you can begin using the check and the date that the check will expire. You are not required to use all of your checks during one purchase, but benefits that have not been used by the end of the month will expire, as benefits do not roll over to the following month.
With WIC, you may be eligible to purchase a variety of types of food, depending on your age and special needs. Potential food items that you may receive checks for include:
- Whole grain foods.
- Breakfast cereals.
- Baby food and formula.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Canned fish.
- Peanut butter.
When using WIC checks, it is important to review authorized foods carefully, as the program will restrict your purchases to specific brands, sizes and impose further restrictions on certain food additives. You may also want to consider the use of the free WICShopper mobile app, as this app will allow you to scan the barcode of any item in order to inquire as to whether or not it is an approved food.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Idaho
Your Idaho WIC appointment is an important step in receiving benefits from the program as staff members will be able to provide you further information about the program as well as determine whether or not you and your family are eligible for assistance. Therefore, it is important that you bring each of your children that you are applying for benefits for as they must be present for the appointment in order for benefits to be issued.
When you apply for Idaho WIC, it is important that you bring the documentation that will be requested in order to complete the processing of your application. This documentation includes:
- Identification for you and each of your children that are seeking benefits.
- Proof of residence.
- Immunization records for each of your children.
- Confirmation of your pregnancy from a health care provider that includes the baby’s due date, if you are currently pregnant.
- Proof of income for your entire household for the last 30 days. Alternatively, you can also provide a Medical, Quest or Social Security Card if you or any of your children receive SNAP, Medicaid or Cash Assistance.
To learn more about preparing for your WIC appointment, download our comprehensive guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Idaho
You will receive various WIC checks for the different categories of food items that you may purchase. As stated previously, you do not need to use all of your checks in one purchase. Reviewing your current food balance is a simple process. You can simply review the types of checks that you have remaining for the month. Remember, these checks will expire on the last day of the month, so it is strongly recommended that you use your benefits prior to the expiration date.