The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Who Gets WIC and How to Apply

In general, WIC is administered in each State or territory by State Health Departments or Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs).

Who Gets WIC? To be eligible for the WIC Program, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

Contact the WIC State or local agency serving your area, to schedule an appointment. Applicants will be advised about what to bring to the WIC appointment to help determine eligibility.
Click here for a listing of the toll-free numbers of WIC State agencies
or click here for a listing of State agencies in alphabetical order .
Many of the State agencies listed provide a toll-free number for you to call and/or a website about the WIC Program operating in that area.

Length of Participation: WIC is a short-term program. Therefore, a participant will "graduate" at the end of one or more certification periods. A certification period is the length of time a WIC participant is eligible to receive benefits. Depending on whether the individual is pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, an infant, or a child, an eligible individual usually receives WIC benefits from 6 months to a year, at which time she/he must reapply.

Waiting List/Priority System: Sometimes WIC agencies do not have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC or calls to apply. When this happens, WIC agencies must keep a list, called a waiting list, of individuals who want to apply and are likely to be served. WIC agencies then use a special system, called a Priority System, to determine who will get WIC benefits first when more people can be served. The purpose of the priority system is to make sure that WIC services and benefits are provided first to participants with the most serious health conditions such as anemia (low blood levels), underweight, history of problems during pregnancy.
Click here for more info about the Waiting List/Priority System.

Moving: WIC participants who move from one area or State to another are placed at the top of a waiting list when they move and are also served first when the WIC agency can serve more individuals. WIC participants who move can continue to receive WIC benefits until their certification period expires as long as there is proof that the individual received WIC benefits in another area or State. Before a participant moves, they should tell the WIC office. In most cases, WIC staff will give the participant a special card which proves that the individual participated in the WIC Program. When the individual moves, they can call the new WIC office for an appointment and take the special card to the WIC appointment in the new area or State

WIC Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Categorical
  • Residential
  • Income
  • Nutrition Risk

Categorical Requirement

The WIC Program is designed to serve certain categories of women, infants, and children. Therefore, the following individuals are considered categorically eligible for WIC:


-- pregnant (during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of an infant or the end of the pregnancy)
-- postpartum (up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy)
-- breastfeeding (up to the infant's first birthday)


(up to the infant's first birthday)


(up to the child's fifth birthday)

Residential Requirement

Applicants must live in the State in which they apply. Applicants served in areas where WIC is administered by an Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) must meet residency requirements established by the ITO. At State agency option, applicants may be required to live in a local service area and apply at a WIC clinic that serves that area. Applicants are not required to live in the State or local service area for a certain amount of time in order to meet the WIC residency requirement.

Income Requirement

To be eligible for WIC, applicants must have income at or below an income level or standard set by the State agency or be determined automatically income-eligible based on participation in certain programs.

Income Standard

The State agency's income standard must be between 100 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines (issued each year by the Department of Health and Human Services), but cannot be more than 185 percent of the Federal poverty income guidelines.

Automatic Income Eligibility

Certain applicants can be determined income-eligible for WIC based on their participation in certain programs. These included individuals:

-- eligible to receive SNAP benefits, Medicaid, for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly known as AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children),

-- in which certain family members are eligible to receive Medicaid or TANF, or

-- at State agency option, individuals that are eligible to participate in certain other State-administered programs.

WIC Income Eligibility 2013-14

Nutrition Risk Requirement

Applicants must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist who must determine whether the individual is at nutrition risk. In many cases, this is done in the WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. However, this information can be obtained from another health professional such as the applicant's physician.

"Nutrition risk" means that an individual has medical-based or dietary-based conditions. Examples of medical-based conditions include anemia (low blood levels), underweight, or history of poor pregnancy outcome. A dietary-based condition includes, for example, a poor diet.

At a minimum, the applicant's height and weight must be measured and bloodwork taken to check for anemia.

An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions on the State's list of WIC nutrition risk criteria.