What kind of benefit is WIC?
Like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as CalFresh in California), the Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC) provides qualifying households food benefits and other nutritional services.
How is eligibility for WIC determined?
Eligibility for WIC depends on a combination of income, age, and the pregnancy or post-natal status of a parent. The pregnant or nursing parent and any children under the age of 5 can all receive benefits if their income falls below the established threshold for that household size.
Certain exemptions may reduce a household’s countable income so that they can fall below this threshold, but these exemptions are conditional and may be subject to frequent changes. Households whose gross income may be near or just above the threshold can still apply and speak to representatives of their local WIC office to discuss potential eligibility exemptions.
Children in foster care are considered an income household of one when applying for benefits for a foster child under the age of 5; likewise, income from a foster child is not counted if the foster family applies for WIC benefits of their own.
Children under legal guardianship with a relative or non-relative caregiver may be counted as a member of the caregiver’s household, instead, and any income that child receives may also impact the eligibility of the rest of the household.
How do I apply for WIC?
Applicants interested in WIC need to apply in person at their local WIC office. You can search for the nearest office on the WIC Clinic Search site.