What are the WIC Qualifications? (And, Other FAQs)
New York State’s WIC program offers basic health and nutrition assistance to pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5. Find out if you meet the WIC qualifications and learn about what help you could be eligible to receive.
What is the WIC program?
Officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
Who is eligible for WIC services?
WIC is a no cost program that accepts applicants all year-round. You or your family members may qualify to start receiving benefits, if you are:
- A New York resident
- A woman who is pregnant or postpartum, as well as those or who are breastfeeding
- A child who is under five years old (including foster children)
- A family with low to medium income or below 185 percent of the poverty level (working families may qualify)
- A non-birth parent or guardian may apply for a child at nutritional risk
- A participant of other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps), Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
If you would like to learn more specific information about your WIC qualifications, try using the WIC Prescreening Tool (U.S. citizenship is not required).
If I meet the WIC qualifications, what types of services could I receive?
If you are eligible, the WIC program can provide vital and valuable supplemental services. From breastfeeding coaching to meal planning assistance, your family will receive the tools it needs to develop healthy habits.
3 Types WIC Services
- Financial assistance to purchase select foods
- Nutritional education
- Referrals to relevant services
After enrolling in the program, participants receive an eWIC card, which works like a debit card. The WIC program also now has an easy-to-use app that is available in the Apple Store or Google Play for those who have met the WIC qualifications.
What types of benefits can I receive?
eWIC cards may be used to purchase approved foods at NYS Contracted grocery stores.
WIC-approved foods include:
- Peanut butter
- Fruits and vegetables
- Vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice
- Whole Grain Tortillas
- Brown Rice 14-16-ounce or 28-32-ounce package
- Whole Wheat Pasta 16-ounce package only
- Foods for Vegetables & Fruits Checks (Cash Value Vouchers)
- Soy Beverage
- Brown Rice
- Canned Fish
- Beans, Peas, and Lentils
- Tofu 14-16-ounce package
- Infant Formula
- Baby Food – Vegetables, Fruits, Meats 2.5-ounce containers
- Infant Cereal
The WIC program also promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for infant children. For women who do not fully breastfeed, the program can provide iron-fortified infant formula and special formula prescribed by a physician.
How can I apply for the WIC program?
If you think you meet the WIC qualifications, applying is simple. You can apply at three of Family Health Centers’ locations in Elmont, Roosevelt, and Westbury.
What should I bring to my WIC appointment?
Visit https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/wic/ewic/ for further information.
Family Health Centers is Here to Help Your Family
If you or your family could use health and nutrition assistance, the WIC program could be a step in the right direction. To learn more, request an appointment at one of Family Health Centers‘ locations in your neighborhood.