Learn About the Indiana WIC Program
Indiana WIC is a federally funded and nationally recognized nutrition program that provides benefits to qualifying pregnant women, postpartum women, infants and children. The program offers a variety of benefits, including supplemental healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health screening and referrals to other health, family and social services within Indiana. Your local WIC office will determine whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits through an initial appointment to the office. At this time, you will be given the opportunity to learn more about the program and apply for benefits.
Before applying for the WIC program, you are strongly recommended to familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements surrounding the program, as benefits can only be provided to individuals who meet these requirements. In Indiana, eligibility requirements include categorical, income, residency and nutritional risk requirements. By learning more about each requirement, you will be able to better determine whether or not you may qualify for benefits.
What are the WIC requirements in Indiana?
Before asking, “Where is the Indiana WIC office near me?” you are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements associated with the program in order to better determine whether or not you will qualify for assistance. Ultimately, your local office will determine your eligibility for benefits during your initial appointment, however, with a bit of knowhow, you can determine if you are likely eligible.
WIC eligibility requirements include categorical, residency, income and nutritional risk. Categorical requirements refer to the categories of individuals that may be eligible to receive benefits from the program. Indiana WIC can only provide aid to:
- Women who are pregnant.
- Postpartum women who are not breastfeeding, up to 6 months following a pregnancy.
- Postpartum women who are breastfeeding, up to the infant’s first birthday.
- Infants and children under 5 years old.
Therefore, fathers, grandparents or other caretakers cannot meet WIC qualifications. However, caretakers may apply for benefits for a qualifying child.
There is a WIC program in every state throughout the U.S. as this is a federally funded program that is nationally recognized. However, in order to apply in Indiana, you must be a resident of Indiana and be capable of providing proof of that residency. If you are not a resident of Indiana, you must apply for the program through your home state.
WIC will only provide benefits to individuals and families that are to be considered low income and meet income limitations that are based upon the federal poverty line. These income limits are reassessed on an annual basis, so it is important to review the current limits prior to submitting your application. Income limits are based upon household size, however, if you are currently pregnant, it is worth knowing that each unborn baby will count as an additional household member when applying for the program.
Finally, the WIC program requires that you are considered to have a nutritional risk in order to receive WIC benefits. However, nutritional risk can be considered a medical or a dietary condition. Therefore, a number of conditions will qualify as a nutritional risk, including anemia, poor pregnancy outcome history, overweight, underweight and poor diet. Whether or not a nutritional risk is present will be determined at your initial appointment.
Learn more about WIC requirements by downloading our free guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Indiana
To submit an Indiana WIC application, you will need to contact your local office by phone or email and schedule an appointment. When learning how to apply for WIC in Indiana, it is important to know that online and by mail applications are not available. Your eligibility will be determined at your initial WIC appointment with your local office, so it is important that you prepare yourself for the appointment and gather up the documents that will be necessary to proceed with your application.
What can you get with WIC in Indiana?
Indiana WIC benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Nutrition and health screenings and assessments.
- Personalized nutrition information, education and counseling.
- Breastfeeding education, promotion and support.
- Referrals to other Indiana health, family and social services that you may qualify for.
- Supplemental healthy foods that are designed to meet special nutrition needs.
WIC benefits are distributed on a monthly basis in Indiana. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a list of approved foods that you will be able to purchase with your benefits. Depending on your nutritional needs, you may be able to purchase items such as:
- Various whole grain products.
- Peanut butter.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Baby food and formula.
- Canned fish.
With WIC, benefits do not roll over to the following month. Instead, unused benefits will expire at midnight on the last day of the month. Therefore, it is important that you utilize these benefits before the expiration date. When purchasing food items, you are strongly encouraged to thoroughly inspect a food item, as there will be restrictions imposed to the size of the item, brand and additives to ingredients.
Indiana WIC encourages the use of the INWIC mobile app, which can be downloaded on Google Play or the App Store. This mobile app will allow you to review your food balance at any time, scan the UPC codes of items while shopping in order to determine whether or not the item is approved and set reminders for appointments at your local office and expiring benefits.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Indiana
Your Indiana WIC appointment is the first and final step in applying for benefits as your eligibility will be determined during your appointment. When visiting your WIC office, it is imperative that you bring any children with you that may qualify for benefits as they must be present in order to process your application. Additionally, you will need to bring the following documentation with you to your appointment:
- Proof of identity for yourself and each of your children applying for benefits, such as with a drivers license or birth certificate.
- Proof of address, such as with a rent receipt, bill or business letter that is addressed to you and recent.
- Proof of income for all household members, such as with paystubs, award letters or unemployment statements. Alternatively, you can provide proof of receiving benefits from another assistance program, such as with an award letter from SNAP or TANF or a Medicaid card.
- Immunization records for all children and infants up to age two.
To learn more about WIC appointments, download our guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Indiana
By checking your WIC balance in Indiana, you can better prepare yourself for your trip to the store as you will know your remaining food balance. The simplest way to check your balance is by utilizing the INWIC app. As stated previously, this app will allow you to check your food balance as well as determine whether or not a food item is authorized. As stated previously, benefits will expire on the last day of the month so you are strongly recommended to use your benefits prior to that day.