How to apply for Colorado WIC
View the steps to apply for the Colorado WIC program. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment 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 Colorado WIC office for assistance.
Before you start the Colorado 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.
What does the WIC program offer
For qualified participants, the Colorado WIC program provides:
- Personalized nutrition consultations
- Breastfeeding information, support and referrals
- Financial assistance to help purchase healthy food
- Referrals for medical, dental, health insurance, child care, housing, lactation support and other services
- Nutrition and health education on a variety of topics
Each month Colorado WIC benefits are issued to provide you with healthy foods to supplement your family's diet. Typical foods are low-fat milk, cereal, eggs, cheese, juice, beans, peanut butter, whole-grain, fresh fruits and vegetables. At each appointment, usually done every 3 months, Colorado WIC participants or their guardian will receive personalized nutrition consultations and breastfeeding support.
While on this program you will also receive health screenings and referrals as needed. The Colorado WIC program is for all kinds of families. Married and single parents, working or not working. If you're a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under 5, you can apply.
Colorado WIC Eligibility
To participate in the Colorado WIC Program, you must meet the following three criteria:
You must fit into one of the following categories:
- Pregnant woman
- Breastfeeding woman
- Postpartum woman who isn't breastfeeding
- Child up to 5 years of age
In order to financially qualify for the Colorado WIC program, your combined household gross income can't exceed the Colorado WIC Income Guidelines. To manually calculate your gross income do the following:
If your household had only one income source or if all income sources have the same frequency, compare the income, or the sum of the separate incomes, to the published WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines for the appropriate frequency and household size.
If your household reports income sources at more than one frequency, perform the following calculations:
- Multiply weekly income by 52, income received every 2 weeks by 26, income received twice a month by 24, and income received monthly by 12
- Don't round the values resulting from each conversion
- Add together all the unrounded, converted values
- Compare the total with the annual income for the appropriate household size to determine income eligibility
WIC participants must live in Colorado. In general, they also must be served in the county where they currently live. In some cases though, a Colorado WIC agency may serve multiple counties. In that situation, a person must be served by the local agency that provides services for his or her county.
If you are still not sure you qualify for CO WIC benefits, then they recommend contacting your local WIC clinic and ask the staff for help on the eligibility requirements and WIC services.
Applying for WIC in Colorado
To start the Colorado WIC application process, please call your local WIC clinic. For eligibility and appointment information, including what information you need to bring, call 800-688-7777 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use the Colorado PEAK eligibility tool to see if you qualify for CO WIC benefits.
What you need for your appointment
Your first appointment is called your WIC certification appointment. This is when the staff decides if you qualify. Below are a list of information you need to bring to this appointment to help them determine eligibility:
- Your infant/child
- Immunization records for infants and children
- Identification for each family member applying for WIC. It must be a current, original document (not a photocopy)
- Proof of residency including your driver's license, government ID, utility bill etc.
- Current or recent proof of income
Colorado WIC EBT Card
Colorado provides the eWIC system. Instead of giving you paper checks or vouchers, the eWIC system provides you with a EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) card. This acts like a normal debit card and allows you to purchase WIC approved food at your local grocery store.
When checking out, you simply give your Colorado WIC EBT card to the cashier and they will swipe it and from there the POS system will deduct the amount from your WIC balance. Also, instead of going to your local WIC clinic each month to get your checks or vouchers, your benefits will be electronically reloaded onto your WIC EBT card.
How will I get an eWIC card?
At your first WIC appointment the clinic staff will give you your eWIC card, load benefits, and explain how to set up and use your eWIC card.
How will I know what foods are left on my eWIC card?
The store receipt will list the remaining foods available to you for that month, so it's a good idea to always keep your last store receipt. You can also check your food balance from the "My Benefits" option in the WICShopper app, or call the customer service line (844-234-4950) or check your balance on the eWIC web portal at EBTEdge.com.
What can I do if I misplace or lose my eWIC card?
Call the WIC clinic and explain that your card was lost. The clinic will deactivate your lost card and schedule you for an appointment to issue you a new card. Before contacting the clinic you can also call the automated customer service line (844-234-4950) and select a new PIN so if your card is found, no one else can use it.
How long can I be on WIC?
Colorado 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 CO 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 Colorado 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 Colorado 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 CO 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 Colorado 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 CO 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.