Applying For South Dakota WIC
South Dakota WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the South 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 South 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 South 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 SD 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.
South Dakota WIC Eligibility
To participate in South Dakota WIC, you'll need to meet certain guidelines. They want to make sure their support is placed in the hands of the people who need it most, so they ask that participants in the program meet the following criteria.
To be eligible to apply for the South Dakota WIC program you must have an infant, have a child younger than five or be a woman or teenage girl who is:
- Up to 6 months after pregnancy
- Breastfeeding up to 12 months after birth
You must be a resident of South Dakota. For income, you must meet the South Dakota WIC Income Guidelines, which is based on your family size, or if you currently receive SNAP benefits, Medicaid, TANF or FDPIR, you are automatically income eligible.
If you are a salaried or hourly earner, you'll need to provide all income received by the household during the month prior to the date of your application for SD WIC. If you are self-employed or a farmer, bring in your most recent US1040 income tax form. They use your net earnings to determine your income qualifications.
South Dakota WIC Application
To start the application process for South Dakota WIC benefits you must contact your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment. If you can't find the clinic closest to you, then you can contact the central office at 605-773-3361 or toll-free at 800-738-2301.
South Dakota WIC Appointment
At your appointment, the WIC staff check your:
- Proof of ID and South Dakota residency
- List of typical foods you and your family eats
- Health history
- Height and weight measurements
- Blood test results
- Nutrition and health needs with a medical professional
South Dakota eWIC System
South Dakota uses the eWIC system. This replaces paper vouchers and checks with a SD WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. You would use this card at checkout when purchasing WIC approved food at your local grocery store. The cashier would then swipe your card like a debit or credit card and their POS system will deduct the amount from your current WIC balance.
Also, instead of having to visit your local WIC clinic each month to get more paper checks or vouchers, your South Dakota WIC EBT Card is automatically refilled electronically. To view your current South Dakota EBT Card balance or your purchase history, you can visit EBTEdge.com. If your eWIC card doesn't work, or you are having issues with your PIN, or need to report your card lost or stolen, then call the eWIC customer service center at 877-231-9314.
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 South Dakota WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, SD 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 South 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
South 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 SD 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 South 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 South 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 SD 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 South 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 SD WIC program.
If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local South Dakota WIC program that manages these benefits and services.