How to apply for New Jersey WIC

View the steps to apply for the New Jersey WIC program. The New Jersey 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 New Jersey WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the New Jersey 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.

New Jersey Eligibility

The following people are eligible to apply for NJ WIC benefits:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who have delivered a child within the last six months
  • Breastfeeding women who have delivered a child within the last year
  • Infants and children under five years old

To be eligible for New Jersey WIC, people in these categories must:

  • Have a medical condition or limited access to nutrition that places their health at risk
  • Live in New Jersey and provide proof of residency
  • Meet New Jersey WIC Income Guidelines

Applying for WIC in New Jersey

New Jersey WIC Services are available to low and no income families as well as families experiencing unemployment, military deployment and other interim family financial hardships. To start the application process for NJ WIC benefits you need to contact your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment.

What you need for your appointment

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

New Jersey eWIC System

The state is planning to implement the eWIC system by the end of 2020. This replaces paper vouchers or checks with a New Jersey WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. When purchasing WIC approved foods at your local grocery store, you would hand the cashier your NJ WIC EBT Card and they will swipe it like a normal debit or credit card. From there the POS system will deduct the amount from your WIC balance.

Also, each month, instead of having to go down to the WIC clinic to get new paper checks or vouchers, your New Jersey WIC EBT Card will automatically be refilled electronically. Again, this will not be fully implemented until the end of 2020.

How long can I be on WIC?

New Jersey 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 NJ 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 NJ 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 New Jersey 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 NJ 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.