How Services Are Provided
Application for WIC is made available in clinic sites within the four public health regions and one primary care center. In most cases, eligibility is determined at the time of application. (Translation services are available in all languages.)
- Applicants must provide proof for the following information:
- Identification – one form of identification for the applicant; if applying for an infant or child, the parent/caretaker must have one form of identification for themselves and one for the infant/child.
- Residency – show that they live within the state of South Carolina.
- Financial – have an income at or below 185% of the poverty level. (Income is defined as cash income, such as wages, unemployment compensation, child support, and/or cash contributions.)
- Participation in the WIC Program has no effect on eligibility for entitlement programs such as TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid. Applicants who present a notice of eligibility from one of these programs are automatically considered to be income eligible for WIC.
- Applicants must be determined to have a “nutritional risk” by a WIC professional staff (nutritionist, nutrition education specialist, nurse or LPN) in order to participate in the program. Some examples of nutritional risks include abnormal weight gain during pregnancy, history of high risk pregnancy, growth problems, below normal iron levels or similar problems.
- Applicants are weighed, measured for length/height, screened for low iron levels by a blood test and evaluated through a comprehensive nutrition assessment in order to determine the nutritional risk(s).
- The participant receives nutritional counseling that is participant-centered.
- Professional staff assign a food package that provides participant-specific nutritious foods (milk, cheese, cereal, fruit juice, eggs, beans, whole grains and fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, complementary foods and formula for infants) in quantities that meet the participant’s needs. The food package assigned to fully breastfeeding mothers provides the largest variety and amounts of foods.
- Participants obtain these foods via vouchers they redeem in WIC-approved grocery stores and Farmers’ Markets.
- Participants are certified for a set length of time according to the following guidelines:
- Pregnant women are certified for the length of their pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum.
- Postpartum women are certified until six-months after delivery.
- Breastfeeding women are certified as long as they are breastfeeding or until their breastfed infants’ first birthday.
- Infants are certified for the time period up until their first birthday.
- Children are certified for six-month periods, up until the end of the month in which they turn five years old.
- Nutrition education is an integral part of the WIC program. Individual or group education is scheduled for the participants during the certification period.