The full name for the Ohio WIC program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The program is focused on providing food assistance and educational help to low-income and nutritionally at-risk young children and mothers throughout the state. Pregnant women and new mothers should have adequate nutrition to ensure they can care for their infants successfully. Additionally, young children should be provided with nutrient-rich food so they can fully develop and thrive throughout their growing years.
Each local OH WIC office evaluates applicants’ incomes and nutritional needs before deciding if they qualify to receive benefits. Since the WIC program has a general focus on providing nutritional education and assistance, it only uses these funds for applicants who can prove they will benefit from the assistance. To find out more about the eligibility criteria of the program, how to apply for benefits and how these benefits can be used, review the following information.
What are the Ohio WIC requirements?
If you are wondering “Where is there a WIC office near me in Ohio?” keep in mind that you should first learn about the eligibility requirements before visiting an office. It is important to ensure you will likely be approved for program benefits and to complete an application before your meeting.
The WIC eligibility guidelines include income requirements and different household factors. Generally, the most important eligibility requirements that you must meet to obtain program benefits include:
- Being a resident of the state of Ohio.
- Being identified as nutritionally at risk by a health professional.
- Currently earning a low income, as determined by the government’s current Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
Additionally, to meet the WIC qualifications in OH, you must either be a pregnant woman, a new mother who recently had a baby, an infant younger than 12 months of age or a child under 5 years of age.
Keep in mind that you do not have to prove you are a U.S. citizen to meet WIC requirements, but you must provide proof of your identification and state residency. When income is calculated, you must provide information on the income earned by all household members, including government benefits or child support you receive. A nutritional assessment is conducted by WIC staff on both you and your child to determine the need for benefits.
To find out more about requirements, review our comprehensive guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Ohio
You can find an OH WIC application online, along with other documents that you can begin to fill out to speed up the application process. While these forms are available online, keep in mind that you must meet with agency staff in person to complete your nutritional risk assessment before your eligibility for program benefits is determined. However, you can first complete your application and mail it to your local WIC office to begin the process. Once you have mailed the document, call the same office to set a WIC program appointment with staff.
When you are analyzing the steps for how to apply for WIC in Ohio, you may find that there are additional required forms or documents that must be provided to the office, depending on your situation. For example, if you have an infant, you may be required to complete the WIC Health History for Infants form. You can complete these necessary forms by downloading them online, printing them and filling them out. Bringing these completed forms to your appointment can make your meeting go more smoothly and quickly. However, if you are unable to complete these forms before your appointment, you can complete them while meeting with a staff member.
More information on how to sign up for WIC is available in our guide.
What can you get with WIC in Ohio?
The type of Ohio WIC assistance available to eligible applicants can vary, depending on the needs of the beneficiaries. The program provides financial assistance for beneficiaries to purchase approved nutritional foods, including:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Whole-grain foods.
- Eggs and milk.
- Iron-fortified infant formula.
WIC checks can only be used at participating retailers, and applicants should keep in mind there are certain varieties of foods that cannot be purchased using benefits, such as seasoned canned beans.
If an applicant is approved for the OH WIC program, access to education and counseling is also provided. Information on breastfeeding, tips on providing nutritious meals to families and counseling on maintaining healthy lifestyles and creating food budgets may be offered. Additionally, the program provides beneficiaries with referrals to prenatal or pediatric health care professionals, as well as other social service programs.
Applicants wondering “What can you get with WIC?” should download our informative guide for details.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Ohio
When considering how to get WIC, it is important to be prepared for your appointment at a local office. To prepare for your OH WIC appointment, you can download, print and complete the program application online. While you cannot apply for WIC online since you must attend a meeting with a staff member, completing this application can help you make progress in the application process. The application is simple and asks for your household information, including the number of members in your home and the combined income earned.
You are also required to sign the WIC application to confirm that you provided truthful information. While filling out the application before your appointment is not mandatory, it is required that you bring certain documentation to prove your residency and identification. To confirm your eligibility for the program, you must bring your:
- Identification, such as a driver’s license.
- Proof of residency, if your address is different on your identification proof.
- Income verification, such as paycheck stubs.
Additionally, you should consider filling out a health history form, which is provided online. Choose the form that corresponds to your situation, whether you are a pregnant woman or applying for benefits for your young child. Completing this form before your meeting can help make your visit to the Ohio WIC office faster and more successful.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Ohio
Ohio WIC checks are now obsolete, and benefits are provided through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. When applicants are approved for program benefits at their appointments, staff members issue these cards and help the new beneficiaries to set up their personal identification numbers (PINs). They are also taught how to check their WIC balance and how to use the benefits at authorized retailers. Each month, a predetermined amount is placed into a beneficiary’s account, which is instantly available through the EBT card.
The WIC benefits provided on these cards can be used by beneficiaries to purchase approved foods at qualifying retailers. Lists of these approved foods and local participating grocers are provided to the program applicants during their appointments. Beneficiaries should review these items before attempting to utilize their benefits.