Applying For North Dakota WIC
North Dakota WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the North Dakota Department of Health. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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.
Before applying for the ND 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.
The North Dakota WIC program offers:
Nutrition education, counseling and support
Should I breastfeed? How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? How can I get my child to eat vegetables? The ND WIC program will help you find the answers to these questions and many other nutrition-related concerns.
Breastfeeding promotion and support
Did you know that breastfeeding protects mothers and infants from certain diseases? Benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Preventing ear infections, SIDS, diabetes and childhood obesity
- Reducing the likelihood of an allergy
- Promoting a loving bond between mother and baby
During local clinic visits, WIC staff provide information about how to get started breastfeeding and help support you to breastfeed for as long as you choose.
WIC provides healthy brand-name foods that you and your child like to eat. Participants get WIC foods by taking a check to local authorized grocery stores. Participants are given a list of foods that are allowed on North Dakota WIC.
For Infants (Birth - 12 months), WIC strongly encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of infant feeding. Bottle-fed infants receive the WIC contract brand of iron-fortified infant formula. Beginning at 6 months of age, infants may also receive iron-fortified infant cereal, baby food fruits, vegetables, and meats. (Baby food meats are for exclusively breastfed babies only.)
For Women and Children, women and children receive milk, cheese, eggs, cereals high in iron and low in sugar, peanut butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products (bread, tortillas, or brown rice), dry/canned beans or peas, and fruit or vegetable juices. Women who exclusively breastfeed their babies may also receive canned tuna or salmon.
WIC provides free health screenings to all participants to determine nutritional risk. A nutritional risk is any medical or dietary issue that is caused by, or associated with, what you eat, like poor growth, poor eating habits and tooth decay. ND WIC determines nutritional risk by measuring height and weight, doing a simple blood test and reviewing each participant's medical history and dietary intake.
Referral to other services
WIC lets participants know about other community-based agencies and providers (doctors, public health nurses and support agencies). The results of the WIC assessment are used to identify programs and services that would be beneficial for you to participate in, like prenatal care, SNAP (Food Stamps), Health Tracks or well-child visits and immunizations.
North Dakota WIC Eligibility
The following are eligible to apply for the ND WIC program:
- Pregnant woman
- Breastfeeding woman (up to one year after giving birth)
- New mother (up to six months after giving birth)
- Parent, guardian or caretaker who has an infant or child younger than 5 years of age
You must have a nutritional health risk. The WIC Staff will be able to find a risk by checking your height, weight and iron level and having you answer some health and diet questions. Your annual household income must be within the North Dakota WIC Income Guidelines which are based on gross income unless you are self-employed. Note: You may have a job and still meet these guidelines.
North Dakota WIC Application
To start the application process for ND WIC benefits you need to contact your local WIC agency and schedule an appointment. The first appointment will take longer, usually 30 to 40 minutes, because everything is new. After that, your monthly appointment with the nutritionist will take about 20 minutes. Every six months to a year, you will need another 20 - 30 minute appointment time to reconfirm North Dakota WIC program eligibility. At certification appointments (Your first appointment) you are required to bring your child. At other times you may bring them along or you may find it easier to visit with the nutritionist if you leave them with a caretaker.
Do I automatically qualify if I'm on SNAP (Food Stamps) or Medicaid?
Yes, you meet the WIC income requirements, since these programs have stricter income limits. But you still need to have a nutritional risk fully qualify.
If I am not a citizen of the US, can I get WIC?
Yes, WIC does not require proof of citizenship or alien status and participation in North Dakota WIC benefits will not affect your immigration or naturalization status.
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 North Dakota WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, ND 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 North Dakota 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
North Dakota 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 ND 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 ND WIC benefits. There are 7 priorities used in this priority system, the details for each priority and how they are determined are listed below.
The following applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions such as anemia, underweight, overweight or pre-term birth:
- Pregnant Women
- Breastfeeding Women
Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had nutrition-related medical conditions.
Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.
The following applicants with dietary problems, for example a poor diet:
- Pregnant Women
- Breastfeeding Women
Children with dietary problems, for example a poor diet.
Postpartum (non-breastfeeding) women with nutrition related-medical conditions or dietary problems.
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 North Dakota 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 ND WIC program.
If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local North Dakota WIC program that manages these benefits and services.