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Iowa WIC is a federally funded supplemental nutrition program that provides numerous benefits to pregnant women, postpartum women, infants and children who qualify for assistance. Benefits include financial aid for nutritious food items, breastfeeding support, referrals to additional community services and nutrition information and education that can help you to better the overall health of you and your child. Your local WIC office will be your primary contact for any questions that you may have about your benefits or the program itself. The only way that you can apply for benefits is by setting up an appointment and visiting your local office in person.
The WIC program has numerous eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to receive benefits from the program. Therefore, it is both important and recommended that you review each of these requirements in order to learn more about who this program is for and determine whether or not you may qualify for benefits.
Iowa WIC provides numerous benefits to participants, but before you can receive assistance from the program, you must meet specific eligibility requirements. Furthermore, benefits can only be distributed to certain groups of individuals, such as:
While WIC eligibility requirements cannot be met by fathers, grandparents and other caretakers, these individuals may still apply for a qualifying child. Additional WIC qualifications include the following:
When determining if you meet WIC eligibility, it is worth knowing that you may automatically meet income limit requirements if you are already receiving benefits from certain Iowa low-income assistance programs. Programs that provide automatic income eligibility include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Medicaid health insurance.
To learn more about requirements for WIC, download our free guide.
A WIC application can only be submitted in person at your local Iowa office. When learning how to apply for WIC, it is important to know that most of your local agencies will require you to make an appointment prior to your visit as very few offices will accept walk-in applications.
At this time, WIC online applications, by mail applications and by fax applications are not available within the state. The state requires that you visit your local office so that your categorical, income, residency and nutritional risk eligibility requirements can be assessed and so you can meet with a nutrition expert if you qualify for assistance. Therefore, your initial WIC appointment is a crucial part of receiving program benefits, so it is important to learn more about this initial visit in order to properly prepare.
Iowa WIC benefits are numerous as benefits are not strictly limited to financial assistance related to nutritious food items. With WIC, you can receive:
Iowa WIC checks are no longer issued as of early 2016. Instead, you will receive an eWIC card if you are deemed eligible for benefits. This card can be used similarly to a debit card at any authorized point of sale terminal throughout the state for the purchase of authorized foods. In Iowa, you do not need to separate your purchases at the register. Instead, your eWIC card will automatically remove qualifying food items from your purchase total and you may pay your remaining balance using another payment method. The eWIC card also provides you with the benefit of not having to visit your local office on a monthly basis in order to pick up checks for the month as benefits are automatically distributed onto these cards.
WIC benefits expire on the last day of each month. Unlike SNAP (food stamps), these benefits will not roll over to the following month, so it is important to utilize benefits prior to the date of expiration. Depending on your projected nutritional needs, you may be eligible to use your benefits to purchase items such as:
When using WIC, it is very important to review authorized foods carefully as many food categories will restrict sizes, brands and additive ingredients. If a food is not considered authorized, your eWIC card will not subtract the purchase amount from your total.
Learn more about WIC benefits by downloading the free guide.
Your Iowa WIC office will determine your eligibility for benefits as well as examine the documentation that you must provide in order for the office to process your application. When attending a WIC appointment for the first time, you must bring:
You can review a WIC balance in Iowa by contacting the number shown on the back of your eWIC card. Additionally, each time that you make a purchase using your card, the cashier will provide you with a receipt that will display your remaining food balances. Remember, food balances will expire on the last day of each month, so you are strongly recommended to use your remaining balance prior to the expiration of your benefits.