How to apply for New York WIC

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

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the New York 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 York WIC program offers:

  • Nutrition Education
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Referrals
  • Nutritious Foods

Applying for WIC in New York

To start the application process for NY WIC benefits you will need to contact your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment. Or if you prefer, you can call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline and they can assist you with finding a WIC clinic near you at 800-522-5006. Please note, each person applying for New York WIC benefits must go to the local agency to apply and be present at the time of application. Please note, you will need to meet the New York WIC Income Guidelines.

What you need for your appointment

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

Proof of Income
Bring one proof of income for everyone in your household such as:

  • NYS Medicaid common benefits identification card (CBIC) or Medicaid Managed Care plan card with a CIN (Client Identification Number) for each person applying for WIC
  • SNAP notice of decision/budget letter with dates listing all household members
  • TANF notice of decision listing all household members
  • All pay stubs/direct deposit stubs (past 30 days) for every working household member
  • Alimony/child support
  • Worker's compensation
  • Unemployment benefits/disability
  • Bank statement
  • Use of savings or cash income
  • Verification of Certification (VOC) card (for participants transferring)
  • Income tax record for self-employed
  • Letter of support regarding any
  • Other income
  • Written statement from employer
  • Leave and Earnings Statement (L & E) (military only)
  • Social Security
  • Pension
  • Statement of interest/dividends/Royalties
  • Foster care stipend (If Medicaid is not available)
  • If you have no income, you will need to sign a statement

WIC Participant
Bring one proof that you are one of the people served by WIC:

For pregnant women:

  • Completed and signed WIC Medical Referral form
  • Dated and signed health care provider statement with expected date of delivery
  • Medicaid Presumptive Eligibility Screening Form completed and signed by the health care provider
  • An ultrasound picture with a date and mom's name
  • Breastfeeding moms and moms with an infant younger than 6 months:
  • Completed and signed WIC Medical Referral form
  • Dated and signed statement from a health care provider
  • Dated hospital discharge papers

Infants and children:

  • Completed and signed WIC Medical Referral form
  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal record
  • Hospital or health care provider's record

Proof of Identification
Bring one proof of who you are:

  • Photo ID card
  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal record
  • Citizenship document
  • Court document
  • Current WIC ID card
  • Health care provider or shot record
  • Hospital record/infant crib card/hospital ID bracelet
  • Mexican Matricula Consular ID card
  • Voter registration card
  • Social Security card

Proof of Residency
Bring one current proof of where you live:

  • Current rent or mortgage document
  • Current pay stub with address
  • Letter from shelter/house of worship/social services on their letterhead
  • Letter or statement from federal, state or local municipal agency
  • Photo ID with current address
  • Mail with recent postmark, household name and street address
  • Forms you may need for your appointment

At your New York WIC appointment expect a nutrition counselor to focus on your needs and concerns. All information shared with the WIC staff is confidential. The local WIC agency will ask you for documents that prove who you are, where you live, proof you participate in other assistance programs and proof of income from each member in your household that works. All documents given to them will be returned.

They will also ask for your race and ethnicity. This information is strictly for record keeping purposes only and does not affect your eligibility for New York WIC benefits.

The WIC staff will conduct a short health screening for all family members applying for NY WIC. This screening includes a finger stick blood test, height and weight, and a discussion of your health and nutrition concerns.

WIC staff will determine which food packages are right for you and your children. If you choose not to breastfeed, your infant will be provided one of the formulas on the New York State WIC Approved Formulas list. You may need to get a WIC Medical Documentation Form completed by your health care provider if you or your children have special nutritional needs. You will receive:

  • WIC food checks for each household member certified to use like checks at authorized WIC stores
  • A WIC Acceptable Foods booklet, which lists all the foods and specific package sizes that you can purchase
  • A WIC ID Card, which lists the names of everyone in the household on WIC
  • Referrals to appropriate programs and services
  • Breastfeeding support
  • WIC Participant Rights and Responsibilities

You will be able to authorize someone else to bring your children to WIC appointments or pick up your WIC food checks. It is important to choose someone you trust, such as a spouse or partner or grandparent.

New York eWIC System

New York plans to convert all WIC participants to use the eWIC system. This replaces paper checks and vouchers with a New York WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. This allows you to purchase WIC approved foods at your local grocery store where you would give your card to the cashier at checkout.

From there the cashier will swipe your NY WIC EBT Card like a normal credit or debit card and their POS system will deduct the amount from your current WIC balance. Also, each month, instead of visiting your local WIC clinic to get more paper checks or vouchers, your New York WIC EBT Card will be automatically refilled electronically.

Who should I contact if I have trouble with my eWIC card?
You can use the following options to get help with your NY eWIC card:

How long can I be on WIC?

New York 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 NY 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 York 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 York 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 NY 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 York 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 NY 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.