How to apply for District of Columbia WIC

View the steps to apply for the District of Columbia WIC program. The DC 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 District of Columbia WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the District of Columbia 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 DC WIC program provides:

  • Nutrition counseling and education
  • Breastfeeding resources and support
  • Nutrient-rich foods
  • Immunization assessment and screening
  • Referrals to health and social service providers

DC WIC eligibility

The following people can participate in District of Columbia WIC:

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • A new mother, an infant, or a child up to age 5
  • Live in DC
  • Meet the DC WIC Income Guidelines or medical risk for your family, or
  • Participating in Medicaid, DC Healthy Families, School Lunch Program, TANF, or SNAP
  • Have a nutritional or medical risk

Applying for WIC in the District of Columbia

To start the application process for DC WIC, you need to call 800-345-1WIC. The staff will ask you a few questions to determine if you are eligible for the DC WIC program. If they believe you potentially are eligible, the staff will then schedule you for an appointment at your local WIC clinic.

What you need for your appointment

Expect your first appointment to last about an hour. You need to bring the following information with you to your appointment:

  • Proof of DC residence
  • Proof of total family income
  • Proof of pregnancy or proof of birth
  • Child's shot record
  • All children who are eligible, ages 1 - 5

How long can I be on WIC?

District of Columbia 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 DC 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 District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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 DC 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 District of Columbia 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 DC 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.