Applying For Kansas WIC

Kansas WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The Kansas WIC program aims to protect the health of low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to the age of 5 who are at a nutritional risk. This is done through WIC approved nutritious foods you can purchase using paper vouchers/checks, or in some states your WIC EBT card.

Nutrition Risk Requirements

Anyone who applies for Kansas WIC benefits must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist. They must determine whether the applicant is at a nutrition risk. In most cases, this can be done at a local WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. However, if need be, this information can be obtained from another health professional such as the applicants doctor. Being a nutrition risk means that an individual has a medical-based or dietary-based condition.

For medical-based condition it could be anemia, underweight or a history of poor pregnacy outcome. For a dietary-based condition, this could include having a poor diet. At a minimum, the applicant's height and weight must be taken and bloodwork drawn up to check for anemia. An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions listed on the state's list of WIC nutrition risk criteria.

WIC Prescreening

Before applying for the KS WIC program, you can see if you are potentially eligible through the online Prescreening Tool. Please note, this tool is not considered an application. You still need to follow the application process for this state. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Kansas WIC benefits provide:

  • Personalized nutrition information and support
  • Checks to buy healthy food
  • Tips for eating well to improve health
  • Referrals for services that can benefit the whole family
  • Offers immunization screening and referral
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Nutrition and health classes on a variety of topics

Kansas WIC Eligibility

People who are eligible for KS WIC are:

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding, up to baby's first birthday
  • Non-breastfeeding mothers, up to six months after baby's birth
  • Infants and children under five years old

Clients must meet the Kansas WIC Income Guidelines and have a medical or nutritional need. Many working people are eligible for WIC and don't realize it. To get the application process started for Kansas WIC benefits, call your local WIC agency to schedule an appointment.

Kansas WIC Appointment

You will need to bring the following items with you to your appointment:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of ID for Child
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of Household Income for all people living in your house
  • Completed Diet Questionnaires

At the appointment there will be a brief review of foods you eat, medical history and current health status to determine the medical or nutritional need. If you or your child is found eligible for Kansas WIC benefits, the appointment will also include nutrition education.

Kansas WIC Client Portal

The WIC portal allows participants to login and view the current benefits, view and schedule their appointments and view and manage their current nutritional goals. If you have an account, then you can log into the Kansas WIC Client Portal.

Kansas eWIC System

Kansas now uses the eWIC System. Instead of receiving paper checks or vouchers, you will now receive a Kansas WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) card. When purchasing WIC approved foods at your local grocery store, you would give the cashier your KS WIC EBT card. They will swipe it like a debit or credit card and it will deduct the amount from your WIC balance. You also do not have to go to your local WIC clinic to get more paper vouchers or checks. Each month your benefits will electronically refill on your card.

Check Kansas WIC EBT Card Balance

You can check your account balance several ways:

How do I set my PIN?
You will select your four digit PIN when you first get your KS eWIC card. When choosing a PIN, choose four numbers that are easy for you to remember, but hard for someone else to figure out. Do not write your PIN on your card and do not give your PIN to anyone that you do not want to use your card. If someone knows your PIN and uses your card without your permission, those benefits will not be replaced.

What if I enter the wrong PIN?
Do not try to guess your PIN. If the correct PIN is not entered, on the third try your account will be locked. If after two attempts, do not try to guess. It is better to change your PIN instead of locking your account. If you account is locked, there are two ways to unlock your account:

  • Go to your local WIC clinic
  • Wait until midnight and your PIN attempts will reset

How do I change my PIN?
If you have forgotten your PIN or would like to change your PIN, you can change the PIN by:

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?
Call your local WIC clinic right away. If after business hours, leave a message and your local WIC staff will contact you during the next business day.

Here are some tips to take care of your Kansas WIC EBT card:

  • Do not write your PIN on your card
  • Keep your eWIC card in your wallet or purse
  • Do not give your PIN to anyone that you do not want to use your card
  • Do not bend your card
  • Keep your card out of direct sunlight and avoid places such as a car's dashboard
  • Keep your card safe and clean
  • Keep your card away from items such as magnets, cell phones, TVs and microwaves

WIC Breastfeeding

Research has shown that breast milk is the best food for the baby's first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional and economical benefits to mother and baby. Since a major goal of the Kansas WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, KS WIC encourages participating mothers to choose breastfeeding in the following ways:

  • Mothers are provided with breastfeeding information and support
  • Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in Kansas WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers
  • Mothers who exclusively breastfeed receive a larger amount and variety of foods
  • Mothers can receive a pump and other breastfeeding items if needed to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding

Length of WIC Participation

Kansas WIC is considered a short-term program. A participate "graduates" at the end of one or more of their certification periods. A certification period is the length of time a KS WIC participate is eligible to receive benefits. Depending on the persons condition, either pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, an infant or child, an eligible person usually receives benefits from 6 months to a year, at which time they are required to re-apply.

The WIC Waiting List

In some situations, WIC agencies may not have enough financial backing to serve everyone who qualifies for the Kansas WIC program or those who call to apply. At this point, the WIC agencies must keep a list that is referred to as the "waiting list". It contains all of the individuals who want to apply for the Kansas WIC program and are likely to be served. From there, the WIC agencies use a special system called a "Priority System". Based on conditions like most serious health conditions (anemia, underweight, pregnancy problems), this system will determine who will be served next to receive KS WIC benefits. There are 7 priorities used in this priority system, the details for each priority and how they are determined are listed below.

Priority 1
The following applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions such as anemia, underweight, overweight or pre-term birth:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women
  • Infants

Priority 2
Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 3
Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 4
The following applicants with dietary problems, for example a poor diet:

  • Infants
  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women

Priority 5
Children with dietary problems, for example a poor diet.

Priority 6
Postpartum (non-breastfeeding) women with nutrition related-medical conditions or dietary problems.

Priority 7
Current WIC participants who without providing the WIC supplemental foods could continue to have medical and/or dietary problems.

Please note, state agencies can decide to place homeless and migrant participants in Priorities 5 through 7. At the state agencies option, postpartum women may be placed in Priorities 3 through 5. Any priority can be subdivided into subcategories of risk, using factors such as income or age.

WIC Participants who are Moving

If you are receiving Kansas WIC benefits and are moving from one area or state to another, then you will be placed at the top of a waiting list when you move and are also served first when the WIC agency can serve more individuals. While moving, you can still continue to receive your benefits until your certification period expires as long as there is proof that you are receiving WIC benefits in another area or state. Before you move, you need to contact your local WIC clinic and let them know.

In most cases the staff will give you a special card, Verification of Certification Card (VOC), which will prove that you are receiving WIC benefits. After you do move, you will then need to call the WIC clinic in your new area to schedule an appointment. When attending your appointment, make sure to take the VOC card that was given to you to show proof that you were participating in the KS WIC program.

If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local Kansas WIC program that manages these benefits and services.

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