How to apply for Texas WIC
View the steps to apply for the Texas WIC program. The Texas Department of State Health 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 Texas WIC office for assistance.
Before you start the Texas 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 Texas WIC program provides:
- Healthy food
- One-on-one counseling with nutritionists
- Recipes & cooking demonstrations
- Nutrition classes
- Breastfeeding support
Texas WIC benefits are for:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Women who had a baby within the last six months
- Children up to their 5th birthday
Texas WIC Eligibility
If you are on Medicaid, TANF, or SNAP, you meet the income eligibility guidelines for WIC. If you don’t qualify for these programs, you may still qualify for WIC by meeting the Texas WIC Income Guidelines for your household.
You must live in Texas. You do not have to be a US citizen to be part of the Texas WIC program. Apply in person to learn if you are eligible.
Applying for WIC in Texas
To get the application process started for TX WIC benefits you need to call your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment. Or if you need help finding a clinic, call 800-942-3678.
What you need for your appointment
Your WIC appointment includes a visit with a nutrition expert to help determine your eligibility. WIC will measure, weigh and check the iron level of each family member applying for WIC in Texas and answer any questions you may have about health and nutrition. You need to bring the following items to your appointment:
Each person applying for WIC
Each Person Applying for Texas WIC must come to the clinic for their appointment. Please bring an extra diaper for infants and toddlers because they need to be weighed in a clean, dry diaper.
Proof of identification
If you are on WIC bring the Texas WIC EBT card and identification for any new family members applying for WIC. If you are not on WIC bring identification for yourself and each person applying for WIC. Any of the IDs listed below are acceptable:
- Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF form/letter
- Driver's license
- Social Security card
- Foster placement letter
- Picture ID (school, employee, or official)
- Military ID
- Passport or immigration records
- Immunization record
- Birth certificate
- Crib card, hospital discharge papers, or hospital ID bracelet
Proof of residency
Bring one of the following with your name, street address, city, state, and zip code. WIC cannot accept PO boxes as proof of residence.
- Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF form / letter
- Utility (light, water, or phone) or credit card bill
- Foster placement letter
- Business letter
- Rent receipts, agreement, or a letter from the landlord
- Letter from a homeless shelter
If you live with someone and do not receive mail at their address, bring a signed letter from the person you live with stating their name, address, and phone number, and a document such as a light, water, phone, or credit card bill addressed to the person who signed the letter.
Proof of income
Complete a WIC Income Questionnaire before your WIC appointment so you will know what to bring for proof of income. If you do not have this form, you can complete one at the WIC clinic. Bring all sources of income. Examples include:
- Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF form or letter
- Paycheck stubs dated within 30 calendar days of your appointment
- Social Security benefits statement
- Tax return IRS 1040
- Unemployment insurance benefit statement
- Child support
- Worker's compensation statement
- Retirement income statement
- If you receive financial support from someone who lives outside of your household, bring a signed and dated letter from the person or social service giving support with their name and the amount and type of support given
Immunization Records for infants and children, if available. WIC staff will screen immunization records and refer your family to a provider if needed.
At your WIC appointment expect the staff to:
- Look at your proof of income for your household
- Ask a few questions about your family's health and nutrition habits
- Weigh, measure, and check iron status for you (if pregnant) or your child
If they determine you qualify for Texas WIC benefits, you'll get a food package specially designed to meet your needs, and a Texas WIC card to use at the grocery store. It keeps track of your WIC food benefits and works just like a debit card. If you have any questions or have a special situation, call or go by the office before your appointment so they may assist you.
How long can I use Texas WIC Benefits?
If you meet the income and nutrition requirements:
- Infants and children can stay on WIC until they turn 5
- Women who are pregnant receive WIC food benefits until the end of their pregnancy
- Women who are fully or partially breastfeeding receive WIC food benefits until their baby is 1-year-old
- Women who are mostly or only formula feeding receive WIC food benefits until their baby is 6-months-old
Can fathers apply for the Texas WIC program?
Fathers of infants and children younger than 5 can enroll their children in the TX WIC program. Just like any other parent or guardian, fathers can bring their children to appointments, attend nutrition classes and get benefits for their children.
Texas eWIC System
Texas uses the eWIC system. This replaces the paper checks and vouchers with a Texas WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. This allows you to purchase WIC approved food items at your local grocery store. At checkout you would give the cashier your eWIC card and they will swipe it like a normal debit or credit card. From there their POS system will deduct the amount from your current WIC balance.
Also, instead of having to visit your local WIC clinic each month to get new paper checks or vouchers, your benefits are automatically loaded electronically onto your TX WIC EBT Card.
How long can I be on WIC?
Texas 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 TX 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 Texas 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 Texas 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 TX 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 Texas 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 TX 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.