How to apply for New Mexico WIC

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

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the New Mexico 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 New Mexico WIC program provides supplemental foods, along with nutrition education, information on breastfeeding and referrals to health and social programs.

New Mexico Eligibility

In order to qualify to receive New Mexico WIC benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

Live in New Mexico
WIC participants usually receive services in the county where they live. US citizenship is not a requirement for eligibility.

Categorical Requirement
Be a Pregnant, Breastfeeding or Postpartum woman, an infant under one year of age or a child less than 5 years of age. Parents, step-parents, guardians, and foster parents of infants and children under 5 can apply for their children.

Income Requirement
Meet the New Mexico WIC Income Guidelines. Households with incomes at or below 185% of the federal poverty income level are eligible. WIC determines income based on gross income. WIC counts all of the members of a household, related or non-related. WIC counts an unborn baby as a household member.

Nutritional Risk Requirement
Be at nutritional risk. NM WIC participants receive an initial health and diet screening at a WIC clinic to determine nutritional risk. WIC uses two main categories of nutritional risk:

Medically-based risks such as history of poor pregnancy outcome, underweight status, or iron deficiency anemia, and diet-based risk factors such as poor eating habits which can lead to poor nutritional and health status.

Participants will be counseled at WIC about these risks and the outcome influenced by nutrition education and nutritious foods provided by the New Mexico WIC program. Anyone who is planning to participate in the New Mexico WIC program must apply in person.

Applying for WIC in New Mexico

To start the application process for NM WIC, you need to find your local WIC clinic and call and schedule an appointment.

What you need for your appointment

You will be asked to bring the following to your appointment:

  • The Person Applying for program participation
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of identity
  • Current check stubs (within last 30 days) for any member of your family who receives an income, or other proof of income status. If your family receives TANF or Food Stamps, you will be asked to bring the award notice, which you receive from your caseworker or in the mail. If family members are on Medicaid, bring their current cards
  • Clean diaper or other items needed for comfort. Your appointment will last approximately 45 minutes
  • Current or updated shot record

A diet survey for family member who will be certifying needs to be completed:

New Mexico eWIC System

New Mexico uses the new eWIC system. This replaces paper checks and vouches with a New Mexico WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. When you are purchasing WIC approved foods at a local grocery store, you would hand your New Mexico WIC EBT Card to the cashier and they will swipe it like a debit or credit card. Their POS system will then deduct the amount from your WIC balance.

Also, instead of having to go down to your local WIC clinic each month to get more paper checks or vouchers, your NM WIC EBT Card will be automatically refilled electronically.

What if my card is lost or stolen?
If your card is lost or stolen, call your local WIC clinic to report it. They will place the card on a "Hot Card" list. No one will be able to use your lost card unless they know your PIN number. Only tell people you trust as your alternate shoppers. You will have to wait five business days to receive a new card at your local WIC clinic.

At this point your remaining food benefits will be placed on the new card, you will select a PIN number and you will be able to use your new New Mexico eWIC Card at the grocery store.

How long can I be on WIC?

New Mexico 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 NM 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 Mexico 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 Mexico 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 NM 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 Mexico 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 NM 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.