How to apply for North Carolina WIC

View the steps to apply for the North Carolina WIC program. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services 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 North Carolina WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the North Carolina 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 North Carolina WIC program is for the following:

  • Children up to 5 years of age
  • Infants
  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women who have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • Women who have had a baby in the last 6 months

North Carolina WIC Eligibility

To participate in the NC WIC program you must live in North Carolina. for income requirements, you must have a family income less than 185% of the US Poverty Income Guidelines. A person receiving Medicaid, TANF or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services automatically meets the income eligibility requirement. View the North Carolina WIC Income Guidelines to see if you meet the income requirements.

You must be at nutritional risk. A nutritionist or other health professional makes the nutritional risk assessment at no cost to the participant, usually at your local WIC clinic. Examples of nutritional risk conditions are listed below. For a complete listing call 919-707-5800.

  • Abnormal anthropometric or hematological measurements
  • Documented nutrition-related medical conditions
  • Inadequate dietary intake
  • Conditions that predispose a person to inadequate nutritional patterns such as lead poisoning, migrancy, alcohol or drug abuse

North Carolina WIC Certification Period

Below is the certification period for each person who is qualified for NC WIC benefits:

  • Pregnant women
    They are certified for their pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum. By 6 weeks postpartum they must be re-certified as a postpartum or breast feeding woman
  • Non-breast feeding postpartum women
    They are certified until six months postpartum
  • Breastfeeding postpartum women
    They are certified for up to 12 months postpartum
  • Infants
    They are certified before six months of age are certified until their first birthday. Infants certified after six months of age are certified for six months
  • Children
    They are certified every twelve months until five years of age

Applying for WIC in North Carolina

To start the application process for NC WIC benefits or obtain additional referral forms, pamphlets, or other information, you will need to contact your local WIC clinic and schedule your appointment.

What you need for your appointment

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

  • Proof of identification (for all individuals applying for WIC)
  • Proof of income (for all household members with income)
  • Proof of residence (where you live)

To qualify for NC WIC, applicants must be both income eligible and have an identified medical/nutritional risk factor. These criteria will be assessed when you apply for WIC at your local WIC clinic. With some exceptions, each person applying for North Carolina WIC must be physically present at the time of application at the local WIC office.

North Carolina eWIC System

North Carolina now uses the new eWIC system. It replaces paper checks and vouchers with the North Carolina WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. This allows you to purchase WIC approved food at your local grocery store. At checkout, you would give your NC WIC EBT Card to the cashier who will then swipe the card like a debit or credit card and their POS system will deduct the amount from your current WIC balance.

Also, instead of having to go to your local WIC clinic each month to get more paper checks or vouchers, your North Carolina WIC EBT Card will automatically refill electronically. To check your WIC EBT Card balance, set your PIN or replace your eWIC card

eWIC Card/Card Replacement
If you forget your PIN, call eWIC Customer Service at 844-230-0813 or log on to or the Bnft Benefits app to change it. If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, call the eWIC Customer Service at 844-230-0813. Cards will be replaced by regular mail. You should receive your card in five to seven days. Or, visit your local WIC clinic to have your card replaced.

If you enter your PIN wrong four times in a row, your card will be locked until midnight. You can change your PIN by calling eWIC Customer Service or logging on to the website or thorugh the Bnft Benefits app. If you do not reset your PIN, your card will automatically be unlocked at midnight, however you will still need to know your PIN in order to use your card.

How long can I be on WIC?

North Carolina 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 NC 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 NC 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 North Carolina 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 NC 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.