Applying For West Virginia WIC
West Virginia WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 WV 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 West Virginia WIC program makes sure that your family has what they need to live a healthy life. Providing you with basic, healthy foods assures that your family is getting the nutrition they need. Foods such as milk, cheese, eggs, juice, peanut butter, cereal and infant formula are made available for your family.
The WV WIC program also provides many other services free of charge to pregnant women, postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of five. Services include:
The WIC staff will show you how to create healthy, affordable meals for your family through nutrition tips and recipes.
Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your newborn. They offer breastfeeding support, education and counseling.
They help in giving your baby a healthy start. Through our prenatal education and food vouchers they can help you feed your baby long before delivery.
The WIC staff want you to have the medical help you need. Get referrals for immunizations, health care and other programs like Medicaid and CHIP.
Parents often worry about their child's eating habits. Their qualified nutritionist can give you professional advice for all your nutritional concerns.
Tracking your child's growth will help you understand their health and development.
The West Virginia WIC program is available for all types of families to apply:
- Single parents
- Working or not working
- If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent, or other legal guardian of a child under five
West Virginia Eligibility
To be eligible for the the West Virginia WIC program, a person must meet three criteria. The criteria are:
An applicant must be in one of this categories:
- Pregnant women
- Women who are breastfeeding an infant (under one year of age)
- Postpartum women to the sixth month after delivery
- Children from birth to five years of age
Income eligibility requires that a household have gross income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. View the West Virginia WIC Income Guidelines.
Nutrition Risk Requirement
Nutrition risk is any medical or health problem which can be corrected or lessened by proper amounts and types of food intake. Examples of nutrition risk are:
- Low iron levels
- Insufficient growth, i.e. low weight for age, low weight for height
- Premature delivery
- Inadequate dietary intake (types or amounts of food)
West Virginia WIC Application
To get started with the application process for WV WIC benefits fill out the online form. You can also contact your local WIC clinic to schedule an appointment. The WIC staff at your appointment will determine if you are eligible to receive West Virginia WIC benefits.
West Virginia eWIC System
WV uses the eWIC system. This replaces the paper checks and vouchers with a West Virginia WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. When purchasing WIC approved foods at your local grocery store, you would hand the cashier your eWIC card at checkout. They will then swipe your WV WIC EBT Card like a normal debit or credit card and their POS system will deduct the amount from your current WIC balance. Also, instead of visiting your local WIC clinic each month to get more paper checks or vouchers, your West Virginia WIC EBT Card will automatically be refilled electronically.
How to activate your eWIC Card
Call the customer service number on the back of your card and select your personal identification number (PIN) to activate your WIC card.
How to check your West Virginia WIC EBT Card
You can do the following to check your current WIC EBT Card balance:
- Call 888-220-9555
- Check your last grocery store receipt
- Visit the WIC participant portal at WVWICHousehold.wv.gov
- Register your card with the WICShopper mobile phone app
Report lost or stolen card
Call the WIC customer service number at 888-220-9555, or your local WIC clinic immediately to deactivate the card. To receive a new card, you'll need to visit a WIC clinic.
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 West Virginia WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WV 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 West Virginia 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
West Virginia 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 WV 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 WV 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 West Virginia 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 WV WIC program.
If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local West Virginia WIC program that manages these benefits and services.