- WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN PROGRAM
WIC is a federal grant program
administered nationally by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (www.fns.usda.gov/wic/)
and at the state level by the Connecticut State
Department of Public Health (www.ct.gov/dph/wic)
(WIC is not an entitlement
program. Congress does not set aside funds to
allow every eligible individual to participate
in the program. It is a grant program for which
Congress authorizes a specific level of funding
WIC provides specific nutritious
foods and nutrition education to eligible
pregnant women, postpartum women up to six
months regardless of how pregnancy ends,
breastfeeding women up to one year after
delivery, and infants and children up to their
fifth birthday. WIC participants receive monthly
checks for the purchase of infant cereal,
iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich
fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese,
peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas,
canned fish, soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits
and vegetables, baby foods, whole wheat bread,
and other whole-grain products. Foods covered
may depend upon the nutritional needs of the
Recipients are re-certified every
six months to determine if medical or
nutritional risk exists. Recipients receiving
WIC benefits in Connecticut must be state
residents, but U.S. Citizenship or permanent
residency status is not required.
- Pregnant and up to 6 months postpartum or up
to 12 months if breastfeeding.
- Child/children up to their fifth birthday.
- Income at or below 185% of the
Federal Poverty Level. (NOTE: A pregnant woman
is counted as 2 when determining family size;
3 if she is carrying twins, etc.)
- Must be at nutritional risk.
- Must be a Connecticut resident.
- It is not necessary to be a
U.S. citizen or a documented immigrant.
OTHER WIC INFORMATION:
- If applicant lives with her/his
parents and he/she is not on Healthy
Start/Medicaid or does not have a job, the
parents income is counted.
- An unborn child is counted in
family size when determining income
- WIC checks do not reduce SNAP
benefits (food stamps).
- Food is prescribed according to
the nutritional and developmental needs of the
- Checks must be picked up in
- Checks have expiration dates
and must be used before expiration.
- Participants are given
appointment times for nutrition education and
the issuance of additional checks.
- Many stores accept the checks.
- Checks do not have a dollar
amount; food items and amounts are specified
on the vouchers, and these items can be bought
regardless of the price.
- WIC Unit at the Connecticut
Department of Public Health authorizes
retailers to be able to accept WIC checks as
payment for food.
- Between July and October, WIC
recipients also receive $15 coupons to buy
fruits and vegetables at local farmers'
WAITING LIST/PRIORITY SYSTEM:
Sometimes, WIC agencies do not
have enough money to serve everyone who needs
WIC or calls to apply. When this happens, WIC
agencies must keep a waiting list of individuals
who want to apply and are likely to be served.
WIC agencies then use a special system, called a
Priority System, to determine who will get WIC
benefits first when more people can be served.
The purpose of the priority system is to make
sure that WIC services and benefits are provided
first to participants with the most serious
health conditions such as anemia (low blood
levels), underweight, and history of problems
WIC participants who move from
one area or state to another are placed at the
top of a waiting list when they move and are
also served first when the WIC agency can serve
more individuals. WIC participants who move can
continue to receive WIC benefits until their
certification period expires as long as there is
proof that the individual received WIC benefits
in another area or state. Before a participant
moves, they should tell the WIC office. In most
cases, WIC staff will give the participant a
special card which proves that the individual
participated in the WIC program. When the
individual moves, they can call the new WIC
office for an appointment and take the special
card to the WIC appointment in the new area or
HOW TO APPLY:
Contact your local WIC office;
(Note: There is no direct service at the
Connecticut Department of Public Health)
Anyone who has been denied WIC
eligibility has the right to a fair hearing.
Request for a hearing must be made within 60
days of the denial of benefits.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN
CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
by service name: WIC
SOURCES: U.S. Department of
Agriculture website; Connecticut Department of
Public Health website
PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: April2013