How to apply for Vermont WIC
View the steps to apply for the Vermont WIC program. The Vermont 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 Vermont WIC office for assistance.
Before you start the Vermont 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.
Vermont WIC Eligibility
To be eligible for Vermont WIC program you must meet the following requirements:
The Vermont WIC program serves certain categories of women, infants, and children. You are eligible for Vermont WIC if you or the person you are applying for is:
- A Pregnant woman (during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of an infant or the end of the pregnancy)
- A Postpartum woman (up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy)
- A Breastfeeding woman (up to the infant's first birthday)
- An Infant (up to the infant's first birthday)
- A Child (up to the child's fifth birthday)
You must currently live in Vermont. The WIC residency requirement does not require you to have lived in Vermont for a certain amount of time before you can apply. Examples of proof of residency include:
- Copy of current lease or rental contract
- Utility bill
- Vermont Driver's License
WIC serves families with low to medium incomes. The Vermont WIC Income Guidelines are based on 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines. If you have Medicaid/Dr.Dynasaur, 3SquaresVT or Reach-Up, you are automatically income-eligible for WIC in Vermont based on their participation requirements. Examples of proof of income include:
- Current pay statement
- Active Medicaid/Dr.Dynasaur insurance
- Income Tax Return
- If you do not receive income, you may complete an affidavit stating that you do not receive income
Nutrition Risk Requirement
Nutrition risks are medical-based or dietary-based conditions. Examples of medical-based conditions include anemia (low blood levels of iron), underweight, or history of poor pregnancy outcome. Dietary-based conditions may include consuming a diet too low in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and key food groups.
Applying for WIC in Vermont
To get the application process started for Vermont WIC benefits, you need to contact your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment for an in-person visit. Bring any children you are applying for, identification for family members applying, and income and residency proof to your appointment.
What you need for your appointment
At your appointment the WIC staff will:
Review and document your income, identification and proof of residency.
Review Program Rules
Review Program Rules, Participant Rights and Responsibilities.
Weight and Height
Weigh and measure each family member applying for Vermont WIC. if you have current height and weight measurements completed by your primary care physician or nurse, you may bring them to your WIC appointment, or your doctor's office may fax them to the clinic.
Screen for Anemia
WIC screens for anemia during your pregnancy, after the birth of your baby, at your child's 12 month and 18 month visits, and then yearly. They offer a sensory test for anemia screening (no finger stick/blood required) for ages 2 and up.
The WIC staff will also talk with you about your nutrition interests and goals. Share nutrition resources to help you reach your nutrition goals. Issue food benefits and provide your eWIC Card and shopping information. Connect you with other health and community services.
Choose your nutrition education activity and schedule your next WIC appointment. You must participate in a nutrition education activity between appointments for tri-monthly food benefits to be added to your eWIC account.
Renewing Vermont WIC Benefits
To keep your Vermont WIC food benefits active, you will need to connect with WIC four times a year. The first visit is a WIC certification appointment, followed by a nutrition education activity. This cycle continues about every 6 months. Your food benefits will be issued about every 3 months; after your in-person appointments and after nutrition education. There are three basic types of WIC Nutrition Education activities:
- Group Activities for you and/or your child
- Online Learning at WICHealth.org
- Personal Nutrition Counseling
Be sure to complete one of these WIC-approved activities between your appointments. Completing an activity on schedule ensures your food benefits will be added to your account. Quarterly WIC nutrition education activities can be found through your Local Health Office.
Vermont eWIC System
Vermont uses the eWIC system. This replaces paper checks and vouchers with a Vermont WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. This allows you to purchase WIC approved foods at your local grocery store. At checkout you would hand the cashier your eWIC card and they will swipe it like a normal debit or credit card. From there the 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 VT WIC EBT Card is automatically refilled electronically.
Activate Your Vermont WIC EBT Card
When you receive your eWIC card, sign the back and set up your 4-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will need your eWIC card number, your date of birth, and your zip code. There are two ways to set up your PIN:
- Call WIC EBT Customer Service at 855-769-8890, or
- Visit the WIC EBT website at ConnectEBT.com and choose Vermont WIC from the drop down menu on the cardholder portal
- You must create a username and password to set up your account
Check Vermont WIC EBT Card Balance
At the beginning of each month, the full amount of food for each family member will be available. If you and your child both have a food package, the family food benefit list will show the total amount of food for each month that benefits have been issued. To check your balance throughout the month, you can:
- Call WIC EBT Customer Service at 855-769-8890
- Check balance online at ConnectEBT.com
- Check the ending balance on your receipt after making a WIC foods purchase
- Check your beginning balance at your grocery store's customer service desk before you shop. Ask for a balance inquiry, slide your card through the card reader and ask for the print out showing your current balance
How long can I be on WIC?
Vermont 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 VT 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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 VT 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 Vermont 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 VT 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.