The Nebraska WIC program was created to provide nutritional aid and health services to low-income women and their children around the state. Low-income women, infants and children can receive vital financial assistance toward the purchase of food and nutritional supplements through this program. It is part of the national Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. This program is a federal aid program with some state-specific mandates. Program benefits are determined by each state, as are the qualifications and the application process. The program benefits pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women by connecting them to a statewide support system.
WIC eligibility in Nebraska is overseen by the state offices. States must follow basic federal requirements, but some of the specific program benefits and approved food items vary. Potential applicants can continue reading the following sections to learn more about the program, such as the WIC qualifications, application process and specific benefits.
What are the WIC requirements in Nebraska?
The federal government determines WIC eligibility requirements, but the state’s health department can add additional categories for approval and priority. To start receiving benefits, applicants are required to meet specified income, residency and health conditions. There are also certain age and health requirements that infants and children must meet. Moreover, the state must recognize a nutritional or medical need in all applicants before they are approved for benefits.
Each applicant must also attend a WIC appointment as part of the eligibility requirements. This meeting takes place in person at a Nebraska WIC office. Applicants may choose their closest clinic out of multiple locations throughout the state. During the interview, a state health worker confirms the information provided on the application and determines eligibility. To learn more about who qualifies for WIC and find how to determine a household’s status, applicants can download our informational guide today.
How to Apply for WIC in Nebraska
The WIC application process in Nebraska consists of providing personal and health information, meeting the eligibility requirements and attending an interview. Candidates for the program must complete an application in person at one of the many clinic locations throughout the state. If you are wondering, “How can I find a WIC office near me?” you should note that there are over 100 offices in the state. You can submit your application and schedule your interview at a nearby office location in Nebraska.
Once you know how to apply for WIC, you are one step closer to receiving the food assistance you need to stay healthy. You must also prepare for the interview, a face-to-face meeting during which a health worker verifies your application information. Be sure to call the WIC number of your closest office location to schedule an appointment. You must bring certain documents to your appointment, including:
- Proof of identity (e.g. a state ID or valid driver’s license).
- Proof of income (e.g. recent paystubs or a W-2 form).
- Proof of address (e.g. a utility bill or lease agreement).
For an in-depth look at how to apply in your state, click here to download our free informative guide.
What can you get with WIC in Nebraska?
WIC in NE gives low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women an opportunity to receive vital nutritional supplements, food, formula and access to health services. Their infants and children also receive important supplements to maintain proper height, weight and growth. For breastfeeding mothers, WIC offers education on breastfeeding and an entire system of support.
The state releases a list of food and items covered by the program. These are the only items that the WIC checks will cover during the checkout process. For many approved applicants, these checks are distributed the same day as the appointment.
The approved list of foods and other nutritional items contains goods from a variety of categories. For example, it includes many types of meats, cheeses, milk, cereals (both hot and cold), formula and nutritional supplements.
There are many types and brands of foods that are not approved. You must be aware of what is WIC approved and what is not so you can avoid filling your cart with items outside the coverage. Any goods you plan to purchase that are not covered by the program must be paid for using your own money.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Nebraska
The application process and WIC appointment take place in person at one of the clinics located around Nebraska. All applicants must attend this WIC interview process to show proof of meeting the conditions of the program. Health officials will review documents to confirm that all the information provided on the application form is correct. During the WIC interview, candidates must submit documents that prove:
- Income (such as a recent pay stub).
- Residency (such as a mortgage).
- Identity (such as a Social Security card).
Bring all these documents to the WIC office on the day of your scheduled appointment. You must submit documents for each person applying or benefitting from the program. If you forget to bring one or more of these documents, your application may be delayed or even denied. In addition, it is important that everyone benefitting from NE WIC attends the appointment with you, including infants and children under your care. Health workers will conduct a light screening process to identify a nutritional or medical need.
If you have one or more children that will benefit from the program, keep their documents separate for a quicker appointment process. It may be helpful to divide the documents into separate folders for each child.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Nebraska
Once approved for the program, individuals will receive WIC checks on or shortly after the day of approval. The state is currently in the process of switching from a paper to electronic system. Most new applicants will now receive their benefits through an electronic card. The Nebraska WIC card works like a debit card, except it is loaded with specific food items rather than money. The food items loaded onto the card vary between participants, as it is determined on a need basis. Users can swipe this card at multiple locations instead of issuing several checks for each beneficiary.
The WIC balance on the card resets each month. When you purchase certain food items, they are subtracted from this balance and are available for the next shopping trip until the month ends. Checking your WIC balance is a good way to know which foods are still available through the program. Knowing your balance is an important way to avoid spending too much money. Once the funds are gone, you are expected to pay the remaining balance of the grocery bill.
If you are using the check system, you must keep the checks safe and protected. If your checks are lost, stolen or damaged, contact a Nebraska WIC office immediately to begin the WIC card replacement process.