West Virginia’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been helping mothers-to-be improve pregnancies and ensuring that children get a head start on health and nutrition. This short-term nutrition program provides numerous benefits to qualifying applicants, including nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, food assistance, referrals to other social services in the community and parenting advice. Each month, more than 50,000 women, infants and children receive benefits through this program.
Your local WIC office will ultimately decide whether or not you and your child is eligible to receive benefits. You can better prepare for your application by reviewing the program’s eligibility requirements.
The WIC program only provides benefits to individuals who meet categorical, residency, income and nutritional risk-related requirements. In addition to learning about each of these eligibility requirements, it is important to learn how to sign up for WIC and how to navigate the program. For instance, you must know which types of food assistance you may receive and how to check your remaining food balances.
What are the WIC requirements in West Virginia?
While it is important to ask, “Where is a WIC office near me in West Virginia?” you are strongly encouraged to review the program’s eligibility requirements prior to contacting your local office to schedule an appointment. Learning about WIC eligibility requirements can better prepare you for the application process as well as help you to determine whether or not you or your children may be eligible.
WIC qualifications can only be met by certain categories of individuals that the program aims to provide assistance to. To receive benefits, you must be one of the following:
- A woman who is currently pregnant.
- A woman who is postpartum and currently breastfeeding (up to the baby’s first birthday).
- A woman who is postpartum and not currently breastfeeding (up to 6 months following the birth of a baby).
- An infant who is under 1 year old.
- A child who is less than 5 years old.
You can submit a WIC application for a child that is in your care, even if you do not meet these categorical requirements yourself. The program works with fathers, foster parents, grandparents and other forms of legal caregivers.
While WIC is available throughout the United States, it is important to know that you will be required to apply in the state in which you reside. Therefore, you may only apply for the West Virginia program if you are a resident of West Virginia.
In order to qualify for WIC, you cannot exceed the income limits that are set by the state each year. Income limits are separated into several tiers with a different limit for the various household sizes. The larger your household, the larger your income limit will be. When determining your household size, it is important to add one additional household member for each unborn child. It is also worth knowing that you will automatically meet income related qualifications if you are receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or Medicaid.
When you visit your WIC office, staff will assess whether you or your children are at nutritional risk. Nutritional risk can be caused by various dietary or medical conditions, including conditions such as:
- A history of poor pregnancies or outcome.
- Low birth weight.
- Poor diet.
A nutritional risk must be present at the time of your application in order to be approved to receive benefits from the program.
To learn more about WIC requirements, download our free guide.
How to Apply for WIC in West Virginia
It is important to learn how to apply for WIC in West Virginia if you think that you qualify for benefits. You may complete the WIC application process by making an appointment with your local office. Online and by mail applications are not accepted in West Virginia.
This appointment is a very important step in receiving benefits as your eligibility will be determined during the appointment. Therefore, it is important to learn more about the appointment, including what you will need to bring with you.
What can you get with WIC in West Virginia?
The West Virginia WIC program offers numerous benefits to eligible women, infants and children. Benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Personalized nutrition education and counseling.
- Breastfeeding counseling and support.
- Healthy food items.
- Referrals to childcare as well as medical and dental care services.
- Referrals to other health and social service resources that a family may qualify for.
- Immunization screenings.
- Tips on healthy eating.
You may be wondering how to get WIC checks in West Virginia. However, the state no longer uses them. You will receive a eWIC card instead that can be used towards authorized food purchases similarly to a debit or credit card. Benefits are loaded onto the card at the beginning of your beneficiary period automatically and, while you do not need to use your benefits all at once, benefits will expire at the end of your beneficiary period.
Once you are approved for WIC benefits, you will receive an authorized food list that is based upon your nutritional needs and the needs of your eligible children. Depending on the nutritional need, you may use your benefits to purchase food items such as:
- Peanut butter.
- Dried or canned beans.
- Infant formula and medical foods.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains.
- Baby foods.
When using your WIC card, be sure to review your authorized food list prior to each purchase as you must purchase specific brands or sizes in order to receive assistance. Furthermore, some foods will have ingredients restrictions.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in West Virginia
To submit a WIC application in West Virginia, contact your local office and schedule an appointment. This initial appointment is a crucial point in obtaining benefits as your eligibility for the program will be determined at the appointment. If you are found eligible, you will also receive more information about the program, benefits, how to use benefits and you will be provided with a eWIC card.
When attending an initial WIC appointment, you must bring your children with you if they may qualify for benefits so that the child’s eligibility for the program may be determined. Appointments vary in length, but typically last an hour. In addition to bringing children, you must also bring:
- Proof of identification for yourself.
- Birth certificates or hospital discharge papers for infants and children that you are applying for.
- Proof of address.
- Proof of household income or proof of receiving benefits from TANF, SNAP or Medicaid.
- Proof of pregnancy, if applicable.
- Immunization records for infants and children.
To learn more about preparing for your appointment and what to expect from WIC assistance, download our guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in West Virginia
You may review your West Virginia WIC balance in a number of ways. Use one of the following methods to check the remaining food balance for your beneficiary period:
- Contact customer service (the number is located on the back of your eWIC card)
- Visit the WIC participant online portal
- Register your card with the WICShopper mobile app
- Contact your local office
Each time you make a purchase with your eWIC card, you will also be provided a receipt that will display your remaining balance.