How to apply for Arkansas WIC
View the steps to apply for the Arkansas WIC program. The Arkansas Department of Health administrates WIC in the state including the application process. View the steps below to see if you qualify, and if so, what you need to do to apply. If you still have questions or issues about the application process, you can contact the Arkansas WIC office for assistance.
Before you start the Arkansas WIC application process, you can use the online prescreening tool to see if you qualify. Please note, this tool is not considered an application. You will still need to follow the application process for this state. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the prescreening tool.
Arkansas WIC Eligibility
In order to be eligible for the Arkansas WIC program, a pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children under age five must:
Meet Income Guidelines
The guidelines are set at 185% of the poverty level. Anyone who is applying for Arkansas WIC must provide proof of income. Some examples they will accept are:
- Current check stubs
- W-2 forms
- Current income tax return
- Proof of eligibility for Medicaid, TEA, SNAP
- View the Arkansas WIC Income Guidelines
Have a Nutritional Need
Conditions such as anemia, certain medical disorders, weight and or frequency of pregnancies are examples of the factors that are considered in a nutritional assessment. A nurse or other health professional performs this assessment at your local health unit.
Applicants must provide proof of residency in Arkansas. Examples of proof of residency can be:
- Current utility
- Cable or phone bill
- Current mortgage or rent receipt
- Proof of Arkansas Medicaid, TEA or SNAP
Applying for WIC in Arkansas
The Arkansas WIC program is available at the local health units and WIC clinics located throughout the state. You can apply for Arkansas WIC benefits in any county in the state. To get the application process started, you need to call one of these locations and schedule an appointment. At your appointment the WIC staff will check to see if you are eligible to receive Arkansas WIC.
What you need for your appointment
You will need to bring the following information to your appointment:
- ID for yourself and each child
- Proof you are an Arkansas resident
- Proof of income
- Bring any children you are applying for
If you still have questions, or need more information about applying for Arkansas WIC benefits, please contact your local county health unit, or call the State WIC Office at 501-661-2508 or toll free at 800-462-0599.
Arkansas eWIC System
Arkansas now uses the new eWIC System. This replaces paper checks and vouchers with a Arkansas WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. It allows you to purchase WIC approved foods at your local grocery store. When you are at checkout, you would hand over your eWIC smart card and the cashier will swipe it like a normal debit or credit card. Their POS system will then deduct the amount from your current WIC balance.
Also, instead of visiting your local WIC clinic each month to get more paper checks or vouchers, your AK WIC EBT Card is automatically refilled electronically. All Arkansas WIC participants should now have this option, the state rolled out the eWIC system in July of 2018.
Will vendors accept checks and EBT cards?
With the transition to EBT, stores that accept WIC will accept both EBT cards and checks.
How long can I be on WIC?
Arkansas WIC is considered to be a short-term program. A person receiving benefits "graduates" once their certification period ends. The certification period is the length of time a person is eligible to receive AR WIC benefits. Depending on the applicant's condition, either pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, or an infant/child, an eligible person will usually receive these benefits for up to 6 months to a year. Once they have reached the end of that time, they must apply for Arkansas WIC again if they want to continue using it.
WIC waiting list
In some cases, if the state agency does not have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC, they must keep a list called a waiting list. This contains a list of individuals who want to apply for the Arkansas WIC program and are likely to be served. The state agency will then use a special system, called a Priority System, that will allow them to determine who is eligible to receive AR WIC benefits next once more people can be served.
The reason for this priority system is to make sure that services and benefits are available right away to participants who need it most, which are people with serious health conditions such as anemia (low blood levels), history of pregnancy problems or being underweight.
Planning to move
Anyone currently on Arkansas WIC that is planning to move, including out of state, can continue receiving WIC benefits until their certification period expires. In order to do that, they must provide proof that they are receiving benefits when they move to their new location. In most cases the staff will provide you with a special card called the Verification of Certification Card (VOC).
To obtain proof, contact your current AR WIC clinic to let them know your plans. When you move, you will need to call your local WIC clinic near your new location and schedule an appointment so you can show them the proof. Make sure to take the special card with you to the appointment to show proof.