The Supplemental Nutrition Program Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in Alabama is a public assistance program that is available to residents in the state that meet the eligibility requirements. This federal program provides beneficiaries with approved foods for a set period of time. In Alabama, the WIC office is your local county health department, which you will need to contact should you wish to apply for assistance.
Before applying to the WIC program, it is important to review the program’s eligibility requirements as assistance is provided to a limited group of people that meet income, residency and nutrition risk requirements. Assistance can only be provided to certain women, children and infants. You are also strongly recommended to review the benefits of the program and the specific food items that you may be able to receive on a monthly basis as this program strongly differs from food stamps. Before asking, “Where is the WIC office near me?” it is worth learning about the WIC application process and preparing for your appointment that will determine your eligibility for the program.
What are the WIC requirements in Alabama?
Alabama WIC eligibility is determined by residency, income and nutritional risk. Therefore, to meet WIC qualifications, you must:
- Be a resident of Alabama. If you are not a resident of Alabama, you must apply for the program that is available in your home state.
- Meet income requirements. Before benefits can be issued, applicants must be at or below income level requirements as this assistance program is designed to aid low-income households. Certain individuals will automatically meet this requirement. If you are participating in another assistance program such as SNAP, Medicaid or TANF, you will automatically meet this requirement.
- Have a nutrition risk. Before you will be approved for the program, you must be seen by a health professional that will determine whether or not there is a nutrition risk. A nutrition risk is considered a medical- or dietary-based condition such as anemia, underweight, a history of poor pregnancy and poor diet.
After you submit a WIC application, it is worth knowing that some county agencies may have a waiting list or priority system in place due to a lack of funding or to there being too many current beneficiaries of the program. If this is the case and you are determined to be eligible for the program, further requirements to determine your place on the waiting list must be met. The priority system is as follows:
Priority 1 (applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions):
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Infants up to six months of age, whose mothers participated in the program or could have participated due to nutrition-related medical conditions
- Children with nutrition-related medical conditions
Priority 4 (applicants with dietary problems such as poor diet):
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Children with dietary problems, such as poor diets
- Postpartum women who are not breastfeeding and have a nutrition-related medical condition or dietary problem
- Current participants who, without continued assistance from the program, could experience medical or dietary problems
For more information on requirements for WIC in Alabama, download our comprehensive guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Alabama
Learning how to apply for WIC in Alabama is an important step in receiving assistance. At this time, WIC online applications are not available and instead, applicants must apply in person at a local county health department office location. An appointment must be completed prior to you receiving benefits. However, if you believe that you may qualify for the program, you can call your local county health department to schedule an appointment.
What can you get with WIC in Alabama?
WIC benefits provide nutrition assistance to eligible beneficiaries. WIC checks differ widely from food stamps as this program can only be used to purchase specific items. Examples of the foods that can be received for free through this program include infant cereals, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, peanut butter, cheese, eggs, milk, canned fish and canned beans or peas. Additionally, infants can revive receive baby foods, however, the program promotes breastfeeding whenever possible.
Your AL WIC balance will be updated on a monthly basis, as long as you are still receiving benefits from the program, typically at the beginning of each month. Benefits generally only last between six months to a year before you will need to reapply for assistance.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Alabama
Your WIC appointment is where it will be determined whether or not you may be eligible for benefits. Therefore, it is very important that you prepare for your appointment and that you have the appropriate documentation ready to present to the caseworker that conducts your appointment. You can contact the WIC number by calling your local county health department if you have not already set up an appointment. Alternatively, you can visit your local office to schedule an appointment.
At your WIC appointment in AL, it is important to know that you must bring anyone that is applying for benefits, including infants and children, with you. Additionally, you will need to provide the following documentation:
- Proof of identification for each applicant (including infants and children), such as with a drivers license, birth certificate or hospital birth card.
- Proof of Alabama residence, such as a lease agreement or recent bill that contains your name and complete street address.
- Proof of income for the last 30 days for anyone who is living within the household and working as well as proof of enrollment in other assistance programs within the state, if applicable.
Following your WIC application, you will need to be evaluated for a nutrition risk. This is a free service that will not come at any cost to you.
For more information on how to prepare for a WIC interview in Alabama, download our informative guide.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Alabama
Now that you have answered, “What is WIC?” and you have the opportunity to learn more about this assistance program, it is important to understand how to check your balances each month when you need to.
WIC assistance is provided through the use of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. This card can be used in a similar fashion to a debit card at point of sale terminals when purchasing approved food. The Alabama WIC app can be utilized on any smart device to check your balance. Alternatively, you can also contact the number that will be listed on your EBT card to hear your balance over the phone.