How to apply for Iowa WIC

View the steps to apply for the Iowa WIC program. The Iowa Department of Public 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 Iowa WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the Iowa 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

The Iowa WIC program provides:

Health services
These services include nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, eWIC cards to buy nutritious foods, immunization screening and referrals, and health and social services referrals.

WIC nurses and dietitians meet with you to assess your diet and health history, provide nutrition counseling, and determine what foods are right for you and where you should shop.

Breastfeeding is very important for growing babies. If a mom is not able to breastfeed then iron-fortified formula is provided for the baby. When your baby is old enough, baby foods and plain cereal will be available.

Children 1-5 years old
These children can receive milk, juice, cereal, eggs, peanut butter or dried beans, whole wheat bread, and fruits and vegetables.

Breastfeeding moms
Moms who feed their babies by breastfeeding can receive milk, cheese, juice, cereal, eggs, peanut butter and/or dried beans, tuna or salmon, whole wheat bread, and fruits and vegetables.

WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding.

Iowa WIC Qualifications

To qualify for Iowa WIC you must:

Applying for WIC in Iowa

If you believe you qualify for Iowa WIC benefits, then call your local WIC agency to schedule an appointment to get the application process started. Or, if you live in Iowa you can call 800-532-1579. If you live outside of Iowa, then call the state office at 515-282-6650.

What you need for your appointment

You will need to bring the following information with you to your appointment:

  • Proof of Iowa Address
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Income

The State of Iowa WIC program welcomes fathers and stepfathers to take active roles when participating in the IA WIC program. WIC knows the importance of your roles in your partner's and children's lives and encourages you to attend your child's or partner's appointments.

How long can I be on WIC?

Iowa 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 IA 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 Iowa 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 Iowa 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 IA 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 Iowa 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 IA 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.