South Carolina WIC is administered by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and has its own self-named division. Formally called the South Carolina Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, the WIC program is focused on assisting low-income and nutritionally-challenged new mothers, pregnant women, infants and young children under 5 years old. By providing funding for the purchase of nutritious food, support, social service, information and education, beneficiaries can ensure their children grow and develop properly.
The SC WIC office is available to help applicants through the application process and to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. Before attempting to apply or meet with representatives, potential applicants can use an online pre-screening tool to learn more about the program’s qualifications. To find out more about the benefits provided through the program, the eligibility guidelines and the application process, read through the following information.
What are the WIC requirements in South Carolina?
There are specific South Carolina WIC eligibility criteria that you must meet before you are offered benefits through the program. It is important to note that you can be working full or part-time and still be eligible to receive benefits through the program. You are not required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship to qualify, but you must prove you are resident of South Carolina. To meet the program’s guidelines, you must also confirm that you are one of the following:
- A pregnant woman.
- A mother who is breastfeeding an infant under 6 months old.
- A mother who is not breastfeeding but has a baby who is under 12 months old.
- An infant.
- A child under 5 years old.
Additionally, you must meet the SC WIC qualifications for low income, which are determined by the government’s current Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and the number of family members in your household. The income that program representatives use to calculate your level includes other government assistance benefits or child support payments and all earnings from household members.
If it is found that you meet the WIC program low-income eligibility criteria, you must also complete a nutritional assessment exam. During the exam, an agency representative will take you or your child’s measurements to determine if there is nutritional risk involved. Certain medical conditions or birth situations, such as a premature birth, may automatically allow you or your child to pass the nutritional risk exam.
How to Apply for WIC in South Carolina
You must make a WIC appointment in SC to apply for program benefits. An agency representative will ask you questions about your household, income and health when determining if you are eligible for the program. If you are applying for WIC benefits for your infant or child, you must bring him or her with you to the appointment.
You can call the WIC number, which is toll-free, to find the nearest location to you and to make an appointment. Before you call to set up a meeting with a representative, you may find it helpful to utilize the online prescreening tool to see if you may qualify for benefits. The prescreening tool does not save your answers or start the application process for you, but it may allow you to better understand the eligibility guidelines and what a representative will ask you during the meeting.
During your appointment, your situation is analyzed to see if South Carolina WIC benefits would be helpful to you or your child. If you meet the program’s qualifications and the representative can identify how greater access to healthy foods or nutritional counseling will benefit you, you may be accepted into the program. The representative will provide you with all the information and items you need to utilize the benefits you qualify for.
What can you get with WIC in South Carolina?
SC WIC checks are provided to you during your appointment with an agency representative if you are approved for benefits with the program. With these checks, you can purchase healthy and approved foods at retailers and farmer’s markets throughout the state that participate in the program. There are specific types of eggs, fruits, vegetables and other foods that you can purchase using your monthly benefits.
In addition to your WIC balance, the program provides substantial counseling and educational opportunities to you once you are accepted. Some of the most helpful assistance provided through the program includes:
- Personalized nutritional counseling with a professional.
- A food package with nutritious foods that are catered to you and your family’s needs.
- Nutritional education.
- Breastfeeding support.
- One-on-one breastfeeding counseling.
- Referrals for healthcare and social services.
- Infant formula support.
- Health classes.
If you are wondering “What can you get with WIC in South Carolina?” keep in mind the nutrition classes offered can cover important topics, such as meal planning, new baby care and creating a grocery budget.
To learn more about benefits mothers in WIC can receive, review our comprehensive guide.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in South Carolina
When you complete the South Carolina WIC application process and attend your meeting with an agency representative, you should arrive to the appointment prepared. Keep in mind, the representative will ask you several questions about your health, diet, medical conditions, income and household situation. You should know the answers to these questions readily and provide documentation or evidence of your answers, if needed.
During your WIC appointment, you will also be required to provide specific information and proof of statements you make, including:
- Proof of identification, such as a driver’s license or ID card.
- Proof of income, including the past four weeks of paycheck stubs.
- Proof of residency, such as a bank statement or vehicle registration document.
If you are attempting to obtain WIC benefits in SC for your infant or child, you must bring proper identification for him or her. This could include a birth certificate or Social Security card.
To review additional forms of identification and documentation you must bring with you to your meeting, download and read our informative guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in South Carolina
You should be aware of your SC WIC balance at all times to ensure you can purchase the proper nutritious foods for yourself and your children. During your appointment, an agency representative can tell you how much monthly benefits you qualify for and can provide you with a list of approved foods and retailers in the area. He or she can also explain how long you will qualify for these benefits and if you may be eligible to re-apply once your term expires.