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What are the WIC benefits
WIC can improve the health of the nutritional need of women, infants, and children. According to research done by FNS and some agencies, they prove that this WIC program benefit becomes the most successful program in the country for that can save many women from lack of nutritional needs with cost-effective nutrition intervention programs. It was first introduced in 1974, and now the WIC Program is so reputable and becomes the most successful Federally-funded nutrition programs in the US. Some reviews, research, and reports also say that WIC is so cost-effective and it can protect and improve low-income family's nutritional needs along with the children and babies. Meanwhile, there are so many benefits that women will get from this program.
WIC can save health care cost and improve birth outcome
A study shows that WIC is a reliable program and has a really important role, particularly in the birth outcome improvement and health care cost-saving. This includes some benefits that participants will earn from this program such as fewer premature births, longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, savings in health care costs, and a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care,
WIC can improve the outcome related to diet
Research has shown that WIC has a positive effect on kids’ diet-related outcomes like higher mean intakes of vitamin C, iron, Niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6, but it does not increase the energy intake of food while it can increase the density of nutrient in the diet, it gives good effects on ten nutrients intakes while it does not show adverse effect on f cholesterol and fat, it is known to be more effective compared to other cash income and it can improve the key nutrients of preschoolers' intake, it can reduce the iron deficiency rate of anemia from 8% in 1975 to be 3% in 1985.
It can improve baby feeding practices
WIC is also good for promoting breastfeeding optimally according to a study that finds:
- Women who join the WIC program and get some advice for breastfeeding their little babies by the WIC clinic tend to breastfeed more than mothers who are not taking the WIC program.
- The breastfeeding policy of WIC along with the program activities have been strengthened since 30 years ago.
- From 1996 to 2001, moms who breastfed in hospitals got an increase of almost 26% that was the first 46% to become 60%.
- Baby’s breastfeeding at the age of 6 months got increased by 62%, from 13% to become 21%.
- For babies that are given baby formula, most of them got the iron-fortified formula, which was recommended for almost all non-breastfed babies in the first 12 months of their births.
It can increase Regular Source of Medical Care and Immunization Rates
Immunization needs to be done regularly for kids between 1 month to 2 years old. This program allows low-income children to sign up for WIC that currently shows a significant improvement rate of kids immunization and also gets regular medical treatment and care which is also in association with the participation in the WIC program.
WIC can improve Cognitive Development
Cognitive development really gives a big impact on behavior and school achievement. When kids join the WIC program, they will get some benefits like:
- Kids can improve their vocabulary scores at school if moms have joined WIC before they gave birth to the kids.
- It may also improve and increase memory capability significantly for kids who join WIC since they were babies.
WIC will improve the Preconceptional Nutritional Status
Preconceptional nutritional status something that moms need to consider because it becomes a crucial determinant of birth outcome. Nutritional depletion for a postpartum woman who got a previous pregnancy, especially moms who have short interpregnancy and high parity intervals. Research shows that mothers that get postpartum advantage would get a higher level of hemoglobin and reduce the maternal obesity risk on the subsequent pregnancy onset.
WIC also provides other advantages
WIC program can also give benefits like:
- It will increase the children's likelihood to have such a regular medical care provider.
- WIC participation can also improve the growth rates of kids.
The summary of WIC program benefits
- WIC is the best way to reduce infant mortality and fetal deaths.
- WIC can also increase pregnancy duration and reduce the rates of low birthweight.
- WIC is able to improve the growth of nutritionally at-risk kids and babies.
- WIC will lower and reduce the iron-deficiency anemia incidence in kids.
- WIC is able to improve the postpartum and pregnant women's dietary intake as well as improves weight gain in moms who are currently pregnant.
- Moms who are pregnant can get early WIC prenatal care.
- Kids who sign up for WIC will get a regular source of medical care and get more up to date immunizations.
- WIC can assist kids to get ready to go to school and they also show improved intellectual development after joining the WIC program.
- WIC can improve the diets of kids significantly.
Who is eligible for WIC?WIC is a program that is particularly created to help women, infants, and children. The qualification of the WIC program must be women or it would be the pregnant woman, postpartum woman, which could be either breastfeeding or in a lactating woman the non-lactating women by going on the program after the baby's born for 6 months. Breastfeeding women can stay up until a year as long as they are breastfeeding then you have the children from birth to their 5th birthday.
To apply WIC online or offline, you must be eligible. WIC is a kind of short-term program that is particularly made to support nutritious foods for pregnant and breasfeeding aling with their kids who also need good meals. Suppose you want to get some help forbuying healthy meals, you can join WIC program, but you have to check if you are eligible or not by visiting the local WIC office nearby.
Determining WIC eligibility consider the categorical requirements. if you want to get some help in getting healthy meals for yourself and family members, you also need to know if you are eligible for WIC program or not. WIC program is designed for the following types of persons, including:
Women can apply WIC online or offline assistance if they are pregnant or have been pregnant within the last 6 months women who breastfeed are eligible for WIC for up to one year after giving birth.
Babies can join WIC program until they reach their first birthdays.
Children under the age of five may also be eligible research income requirements WIC application which is available to individuals who are struggling financially although the exact income thresholds vary from state-to-state. They are generally within the 100 to 180 percent of the federal poverty level. Evaluate your nutritional risk of the USDA. Consider certain medical conditions and other circumstances to be a nutritional risk. these conditions make applicants more likely to receive a green screen yourself use the USDA's pre-screening tool to see if you are likely to be accepted into your State's program. you will need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker to ensure you can load the tool to contacting the state agency. Find your State's WIC agency once you've decided you're eligible to locate a nearby WIC office location using the list available on the USDA's website. Select your state from the drop-down list for by clicking on the map then click “apply”.
Search your state WIC application requirements find them using the state's WIC website or call the toll-free number provided to inquire about state requirements to make an appointment at your State's WIC office. In a certain case, you only find one location of WIC office in one state, but many other states that have several WIC locations or offices.
To apply for benefits, you need to go to the WIC office at the scheduled time and make sure to bring any necessary documents to prove your eligibility to meet with the doctor. there will in most cases be a medical screening at the appointment to determine any nutritional risks you may have. This appointment should be made and completed at no cost to you in order to assess this WIC eligibility requirement. Fill out the application as part of your appointment you will fill out an application for the specifics of this form vary from one state to the next wait to hear from the WIC office. if you are accepted you will also receive monthly WIC checks to help purchase nutritional food from WIC authorized vendors. you will also receive information about good nutrition breastfeeding and other services.
What qualifies you for WIC?Participants should meet some WIC eligibility requirements including:
- Nutrition Risk
The WIC Program is specifically made to give service to certain categories like women, infants, and children. So, below are some individuals who belong to categorically eligible for WIC:
Pregnant women can get the WIC program since she has been pregnant until her baby is 6 weeks after she gives birth or until the pregnancy ends.
- Postpartum women can join WIC up to the baby is 6 months old or after the pregnancy ends.
- Breastfeeding women can join WIC until her baby gets the first birthday
- Infants can get WIC program until they get their first birthday
- Children can get the WIC program until they get their firth birthday.
The participant should live in the US states where they apply for the WIC program. Participants served in the WIC locations in which the WIC program is currently administered by ITO or an Indian Tribal Organization have to meet residency requirements that are established by the Indian Tribal Organization. When they are at the state agency option, they probably need to stay in the local service area and they can join WIC by going to a WIC clinic that covers the WIC location. Participants do not need to reside in a local service area or the state for a certain amount of time when they want to complete the requirements.
If participants want to join the WIC program, they should have a salary or income at or under the income standard that is determined by the state agency. It could also be automatically determined income-eligible based on certain program participation.
Income Standard- The state agency's earning or salary standard has to be between 100% of the federal poverty guidelines which usually are released every year by the Department of Health and Human Services. However, it should not be more than 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines.
Automatic Income Eligibility- Some participants may be set to be eligible for WIC after checking some certain program participation which includes personals:
- eligible to get Medicaid, SNAP benefits, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
- where particular family members may be eligible to get TANF or Medicaid
Nutrition Risk RequirementParticipants should get a medical WIC check that is done by nutritionist, physician, or any health professionals that have to determine if the participants are at nutritional risk. In some cases, participants can get the medical check in a certain WIC clinic in a local area for free. But, participants can also get a medical WIC check from health professionals as they wish.
"Nutrition risk" is defined if the person or participants get dietary based condition and medical-based conditions like anemia, history of poor pregnancy outcome, underweight, and a poor diet. Also, participants must conduct weight and heigh check as well as anemia check. In this case, the participant should have at least one condition according to the requirement so she can take the WIC program.
How much will you get from WIC per month?The number of women, infants, and children who are eligible for the WIC program is really outstanding. The amount of budget to spend every year is also getting an increase. Here is the brief history:
- In 1975, there were about 17 million participants who got WIC benefits, which cost about $4.6 billion. After that year, the program budget was getting increased but the number of participants decreased.
- In 1985, 19.9 million people joined the WIC program that spent money about $12 billion.
- In 1995, 26.6 million people joined the WIC program and spent money about $24.6 billion.
- In 2003, there were more than 12 million babies and kids who were eligible for WIC, but there were only 7 million who joined the program.
- In 2009, Barack Obama gave more budget of about 10 billion dollars for child nutritional programs.
According to those statements, we can see that many people have joined WIC, but there are more people who are eligible for WIC while they do not join the program. Meanwhile, the government has been preparing billions of dollars to provide benefits for eligible individuals.
How much does WIC program gives you in a month? The average American on food stamps shows that participants can get $134 per person a month. The average monthly WIC is $47. The benefits for the infant is $100 for the infant and $50 for the mother.
How long does WIC last?
Participants have the right to continuously join the WIC program as long as they still meet the requirements including the medical and income requirements. For women who are breastfeeding, they may get WIC benefits until 12 months after they give birth to their babies. But, if they are not breastfeeding, they will get WIC benefits for half of the year after they give birth to their babies. For families, participants would get WIC benefits until your kids reach their fifth birthday.
WIC program is designed to give some help to moms, babies, and kids under 5 years old. However, there are also certain family members who may be eligible for the WIC program. In general, pregnant and breastfeeding women are eligible for WIC benefits. In particular, a family who has kids under 5 years old also can join WIC or a family who needs to meet income guidelines and food assistance may also qualify to join WIC.
Is WIC and food stamps the same?Women, Infants, and Children or WIC programs help make sure that women and the kids get a healthy and nutritious meal. Meanwhile, Food stamps are provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP program. Even though both programs have the same purpose in order to help low-income residents to buy groceries and healthy foods, there are still significant differences between WIC and SNAP. You need to be eligible for both programs to get the benefits. Here are the details.
Eligibility of WIC
WIC is a kind of national program that is specifically designed only for pregnant women, infants, and kids under 5 years old. Any women who just give birth to their baby and then breastfeed the babies, as well as infants and children, they are eligible for WIC benefits. Income limits are set by the state but range from 100 percent to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. If you're eligible to receive SNAP or Medicaid, you're automatically eligible for WIC.
Benefits of WIC
The WIC food list is generally published by the state agency. Some foods and drinks that are accepted by the state are including soy milk, cow’s milk, canned fish, eggs, cheese, juice, tofu, peanut butter, fruits, dry beans, whole-grain WIC cereal, vegetables, formula and baby food, and infant cereal. Meanwhile, some size restrictions and price limits are also set by the local state, which could vary. For instance, if you live in New York, you should purchase the least costly eggs and milk in the store. The foods you may buy are set by the child age, breastfeeding, postpartum, and pregnant women.
Eligibility of SNAP
It is not the same as WIC, SNAP is available for a low-income individual and family, without gender or age concern. Participants have to meet asset and income tests. The gross income in a month must be limited to 130% of the federal poverty level for the household size. If there are countable assets, like bank accounts or money, they must be limited to $2,250. When somebody in the family is more than 60 years old or if they are disabled, then the asset limit must be $3250. For adults who have a good conditions, they also have to meet certain requirements.
Benefits of SNAP
Participants can use SNAP benefits to buy some kinds of foods, without price restriction and size limits. Participants get a specified amount every month and they can buy groceries at their discretion. Soft drinks, candy, chips, some types of energy drinks, cakes, ice cream, and cookies, may still be eligible products to buy. You also have the right to buy steak and seafood. But, you are not allowed to purchase pet food, vitamins, supplements, alcohol, tobacco, and hot prepared foods.
EBT CardsWhether you sign up for WIC and SNAP, you will get an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This dedicated car can be used to buy items in a participating store which accepts EBT car. It is like an eMoney car where you can swipe it to buy items in an acceptable store. You have to select either WIC or SNAP from the option list. Suppose you use both, you can separate the products or you can also choose WIC first to make a purchase for the accepted foods and then you can re-swipe the car to choose SNAP to buy other acceptable foods.
How does WIC verify income?
You need to bring proof of income documents for your entire household. The local agency probably selects income documentation that covers over 30 days in case it better reflects the family household income at the time you want to join WIC that may include the unemployment period like layoffs, seasonal work, or maternity leave.
Meanwhile, for the Source of Income, you can bring a source of income documentation such as Salary, commissions, Net income from self-employment, Child support payments or alimony, Regular cash contributions, Social Security benefits, Student financial assistance, Foster care, Active military payments, Private pensions or annuities, Dividends or interest on savings or bonds, Government civilian employee, Other cash income such as withdrawals from investment, savings, and much more.
Can I get WIC if I live with my boyfriend?WIC will check the household source of income to find out if you are eligible for WIC or not. So, suppose you live with somebody like a boyfriend, WIC needs to include your boyfriend’s income in order to determine whether you are eligible or not. It seems that there is no big deal to get WIC just in case you live with your boyfriend because you still have to be check to know your eligibility.
Do I qualify for WIC while I am still working?You may eligible for WIC if you still work. Currently, a lot of families who work may qualify for the WIC program. The reason is that WIC is not a business, it is a health program that is opened for all of the people who are eligible. Though it sounds complicated, it is known that the income guidelines of WIC are more generous compared to other programs.
If I am not a U.S citizen, can I get WIC benefits?Of course, you can join the WIC program because WIC does not need citizenship proof whether you are a US citizen or not. Also, when you participate in WIC, it will not give influence your naturalization or immigration status at all. But, you also have to contact the local WIC office if you want to know more details about it.
What will happen at my first appointment?Suppose you get Medicaid and SNAP, then you will probably be accepted. But, if you have no assistance, the WIC team will check your household income in the past 30 days. Also, your heights and weight will also be measured. In certain conditions, WIC nutrition staff will also check your iron level by a drop of blood. After that, the staff needs to get information from you about several things like eating habits in order to know how you can get nutritional health improvement to feed your babies.
Are organic food products (beans, canned fish) be allowed?Unfortunately, you are not allowed to buy organic food products using the EBTeWIC card. Why? It is prohibited because of several factors like product distribution, cost, and participant acceptance of WIC. Somehow, there are still organic products that are accepted by WIC such as soy beverage which becomes the only organic product that is accepted by the regulation though it is not made from certified organic.
Can a single father get WIC?WIC is basically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding moms as well as those who have infants or kids under 5 years old. For a single father, since the father is not breastfeeding or giving birth to the baby, he may not get WIC benefits. However, he is possible to join the WIC program if only he has a low income.
Which is better WIC or food stamps?SNAP and WIC are two different programs with the same goals. However, it is more difficult to be eligible for WIC than SNAP and WIC is known to be more exclusive. SNAP offers benefits for participants to buy food for all ages either women, babies, and kids. Meanwhile, WIC is only dedicated to pregnant or breastfeeding women, babies, and children under five years old. We cannot say that SNAP is better than WIC because WIC also helps women and kids. We can assume that both of these programs are alike and they are both better than nothing.
WIC Program and Store Directory
WicStore.org was developed as a helpful directory of WIC program listings along with other helpful Women In Crisis Programs. We are not in any way associated with the official WIC Program run by the Federal Governments USDA.
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WIC Programs by state
- Alaska (21)
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