Learn About the South Dakota WIC Program
The South Dakota Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a federally-funded program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While it is federally-funded, the state’s Department of Health administers the program throughout South Dakota, as it does with each state WIC program. Additionally, the department is responsible for setting its own program eligibility guidelines and determining the benefits provided to qualifying applicants.
The WIC eligibility guidelines that must be met include residency status, earned income and age or medical status. Additionally, applicants must pass nutritional assessments to determine that they are truly in need of financial assistance for nutritious foods and health education.
If the SD WIC office determines an applicant is eligible for the program, different types of benefits may be provided, depending on the beneficiary’s needs. The representative may suggest breastfeeding support or referrals to healthcare professionals. He or she may also provide specific nutritious foods or information on healthy recipes to make at home. To find out more about the program, available benefits, eligibility guidelines and how to sign up for WIC, review the following sections.
What are the WIC requirements in South Dakota?
You may ask “Where is a South Dakota WIC office near me?” if you are ready to apply for benefits. However, before you attempt to visit a local agency, you should first review the eligibility criteria set by the program. The program implements these guidelines because it wants to ensure the funding provided is being used adequately. The goal of WIC is to provide nutritional support and financial assistance to pregnant women, infants or children who are in need. Therefore, to qualify, you must be one of the following:
- A pregnant woman or teenager
- A new mother who is breastfeeding a baby under 12 months old
- A new mother who is not breastfeeding and has an infant under 6 months old
- An infant
- A child under 5 years of age
To meet the WIC eligibility guidelines, you must also fall into the program’s low-income guidelines, which can change annually. These guidelines are a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which is determined by the federal government each year.
If you are working full or part-time, you must provide information on your salary to the agency to determine if you still qualify for WIC. You are also required to provide information on the income of all other household members.
SD WIC qualifications also require you to prove you or your child is nutritionally at-risk. The representative will take height and weight measurements and asks questions about you or your child’s diet to complete an assessment of your nutrition and health. Certain medical conditions, such as a low birth weight, may automatically qualify your infant for program benefits.
Additionally, before you complete the WIC application process, you must be able to prove you are a South Dakota resident. While you do not need to prove your U.S. citizenship status, you must have documentation that you live full-time in the state.
How to Apply for WIC in South Dakota
If you are wondering how to apply for WIC in South Dakota, keep in mind that you cannot complete the process at home. You must call your local office and make an appointment with an agency representative to find out if you are eligible to receive benefits. You can easily find the phone number for your local agency online through the department’s website or by calling a toll-free number and asking to be connected to your local office.
While there is no WIC application that you can fill out at home, you can begin to assess your household situation and gather the information that may be asked of you at the appointment.
When you call to make your appointment, you will be provided with information on what will happen during your meeting and any prerequisite WIC requirements you must complete before the appointment. These may include attending a doctor’s appointment, getting blood work completed, creating a list of the daily foods you or your child consume or pulling your medical reports from your medical provider.
While you cannot apply for WIC online, you can learn more about finding your local agency by downloading our informative guide.
What can you get with WIC in South Dakota?
South Dakota WIC benefits include financial assistance that can be used to purchase approved foods at authorized grocers and retailers. If you are accepted into the program, you are allotted a specific amount of these benefits that can be used to buy foods you can use to make nutritious meals for yourself and your family members.
In addition to these WIC checks, the program also provides counseling, education and classes. You can learn more about:
- Meal planning.
- Healthy eating.
- Taking care of an infant or young child.
You can also obtain referrals to health care professionals and other social service programs for which you may qualify. When you meet with an agency representative, he or she will analyze you or your child’s needs and provide these referrals on a case-by-case basis. Medical care referrals are provided to ensure you or your child stays healthy and makes improvements while receiving program benefits.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in South Dakota
Once you make your South Dakota WIC appointment, you should begin to prepare for the meeting as best as you can. If you are applying for benefits for your infant or child, gather his or her identification documents and medical records, if possible.
You should also bring the following items to your interview:
- Proof of your identification, such as an ID card or driver’s license.
- Proof of residency, including a rent or utility bill.
- Proof of income, such as paycheck stubs or child support payments.
If you are currently unemployed, you should still provide information on income that is brought in from other household members or additional government benefits you receive. To prove your WIC eligibility, the agency representative will also complete a nutritional assessment on you or your child. This exam may include measurements, blood work and a complete review of you or your child’s health history.
Learn more about how to prepare for your WIC interview by reviewing our detailed guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in South Dakota
You may be wondering how to get WIC balances in South Dakota, since checks are no longer used to provide benefits. Instead, you may be issued an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card during your meeting with an agency representative. Your account’s benefit funds are placed on this card monthly and can only be used to buy foods that are program-approved and available at authorized retailers in the area.
You can easily check your WIC balance by looking at the receipt after you made a purchase or using the website to learn about your account status. You can also call the customer service hotline for additional WIC assistance and to ask about your account’s current balance. It is important to always know your account’s status and balance to ensure you can continue purchasing nutritious foods for yourself and your child throughout the month.