How to apply for North Dakota WIC

View the steps to apply for the North Dakota WIC program. The North Dakota 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 North Dakota WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the North Dakota 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 Dakota WIC program offers:

Nutrition education, counseling and support
Should I breastfeed? How much weight should I gain during pregnancy? How can I get my child to eat vegetables? The ND WIC program will help you find the answers to these questions and many other nutrition-related concerns.

Breastfeeding promotion and support
Did you know that breastfeeding protects mothers and infants from certain diseases? Benefits of breastfeeding include:

  • Preventing ear infections, SIDS, diabetes and childhood obesity
  • Reducing the likelihood of an allergy
  • Promoting a loving bond between mother and baby

During local clinic visits, WIC staff provide information about how to get started breastfeeding and help support you to breastfeed for as long as you choose.

Nutritious foods
WIC provides healthy brand-name foods that you and your child like to eat. Participants get WIC foods by taking a check to local authorized grocery stores. Participants are given a list of foods that are allowed on North Dakota WIC.

WIC Foods
For Infants (Birth - 12 months), WIC strongly encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of infant feeding. Bottle-fed infants receive the WIC contract brand of iron-fortified infant formula. Beginning at 6 months of age, infants may also receive iron-fortified infant cereal, baby food fruits, vegetables, and meats. (Baby food meats are for exclusively breastfed babies only.)

For Women and Children, women and children receive milk, cheese, eggs, cereals high in iron and low in sugar, peanut butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products (bread, tortillas, or brown rice), dry/canned beans or peas, and fruit or vegetable juices. Women who exclusively breastfeed their babies may also receive canned tuna or salmon.

Health Screenings
WIC provides free health screenings to all participants to determine nutritional risk. A nutritional risk is any medical or dietary issue that is caused by, or associated with, what you eat, like poor growth, poor eating habits and tooth decay. ND WIC determines nutritional risk by measuring height and weight, doing a simple blood test and reviewing each participant's medical history and dietary intake.

Referral to other services
WIC lets participants know about other community-based agencies and providers (doctors, public health nurses and support agencies). The results of the WIC assessment are used to identify programs and services that would be beneficial for you to participate in, like prenatal care, SNAP (Food Stamps), Health Tracks or well-child visits and immunizations.

North Dakota WIC Eligibility

The following are eligible to apply for the ND WIC program:

  • Pregnant woman
  • Breastfeeding woman (up to one year after giving birth)
  • New mother (up to six months after giving birth)
  • Parent, guardian or caretaker who has an infant or child younger than 5 years of age

Additionally, you must have a nutritional health risk. The WIC Staff will be able to find a risk by checking your height, weight and iron level and having you answer some health and diet questions. Your annual household income must be within the North Dakota WIC Income Guidelines which are based on gross income unless you are self-employed. Note: You may have a job and still meet these guidelines.

Applying for WIC in North Dakota

To start the application process for ND WIC benefits you need to contact your local WIC agency and schedule an appointment. The first appointment will take longer, usually 30 to 40 minutes, because everything is new. After that, your monthly appointment with the nutritionist will take about 20 minutes. Every six months to a year, you will need another 20 - 30 minute appointment time to reconfirm North Dakota WIC program eligibility.

At certification appointments (Your first appointment) you are required to bring your child. At other times you may bring them along or you may find it easier to visit with the nutritionist if you leave them with a caretaker.

Do I automatically qualify if I'm on SNAP (Food Stamps) or Medicaid?
Yes, you meet the WIC income requirements, since these programs have stricter income limits. But you still need to have a nutritional risk fully qualify.

If I am not a citizen of the US, can I get WIC?
Yes, WIC does not require proof of citizenship or alien status and participation in North Dakota WIC benefits will not affect your immigration or naturalization status.

How long can I be on WIC?

North Dakota 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 ND 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 ND 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 Dakota 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 ND 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.