How to apply for Wisconsin WIC

View the steps to apply for the Wisconsin WIC program. The Wisconsin Department of 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 Wisconsin WIC office for assistance.

WIC Prescreening

Before you start the Wisconsin 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

All Wisconsin WIC participants receive:

  • Screening for nutrition and health needs
  • Information on how to use WIC foods to improve health
  • Benefits to buy foods that help keep you and your children healthy and strong
  • Referrals to doctors, dentists, and programs like FoodShare, Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, Wisconsin Works (W-2) and Head Start

Women receive:

  • WIC foods
  • Information on healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Help with starting or continuing breastfeeding

Infants receive:

  • Help with starting or continuing breastfeeding
  • Infant formula, if needed
  • Immunization referrals

Children receive:

  • WIC foods
  • Immunization referrals

The health benefits you receive when on the Wisconsin WIC program are:

  • Premature births reduced
  • Low birth weight reduced
  • Long-term medical expenses reduced

Wisconsin WIC Eligibility

To be eligible for WIC benefits in Wisconsin, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a pregnant, breastfeeding or new mother
  • Be an infant up to age one, or
  • Be a child up to age 5
  • Be a resident of Wisconsin
  • Be income eligible. View Wisconsin WIC Income Guidelines to see if you meet the income requirements
  • Have a health or nutrition need

You may qualify for WI WI benefits if anyone in your family is receiving FoodShare, Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, Wisconsin Works Program (W2), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers of children under the age of 5 may also sign up kids for WIC. Foster children and Kinship Care recipients under age 5, and foster teens who are pregnant are eligible for WIC in Wisconsin.

Applying for WIC in Wisconsin

To start the application process for Wisconsin WIC benefits, you need to contact your local WIC clinic and schedule an appointment. To find out more about the Wisconsin WIC program and other programs for which you may be eligible, call toll-free at 800-722-2295. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY and interpreter services are available.

What you need for your appointment

You need to bring the following information to your first WIC appointment:

Proof of identity
Proof of ID for yourself and each child to be certified, such as a driver's license, birth certificate, military identification, tribal identification card, alien card, passport, hospital identification/confirmation of birth (which may include hospital discharge papers, crib card, or wrist band) or passport. If you cannot bring one of these forms of ID, the clinic can explain other acceptable forms of ID.

Proof of address
Proof of where you live, such as a current utility bill with a street address (no PO boxes), rent or mortgage receipt. This is to verify you live in Wisconsin.

Proof of income
Proof of family income such as a letter showing participation in FoodShare, Wisconsin Works Program (W2), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, Kinship Care, or Foster Care.

If a family member does not participate in one of these programs, bring proof of all sources of income for the household for the last 30 days, including pay stubs (if you get paid weekly, bring four pay stubs; if you get paid bi-weekly, bring two pay stubs; if you get paid monthly, bring one pay stub). You must also bring proof of income from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), unemployment compensation, and child support.

Proof of pregnancy
Confirmation of your pregnancy, if you are expecting. This may include a statement from your health care provider or an ultrasound including the applicant's name and date. Home pregnancy tests are not allowed.

Infants or children
Bring your infants or children who you want to apply for Wisconsin WIC.

You will be asked to identify your race and ethnicity. This information is for record keeping purposes only and does not affect your eligibility. WIC will not ask about your immigration status. You do not need to be a legal resident of the US to participate in WIC and receive food benefits.

Information shared with the WIC clinic staff is kept confidential. At the clinic trained WIC staff will conduct a health and nutrition screening for all family members applying for Wisconsin WIC benefits. This will include height and weight measurements and may include a finger stick blood test to check the level of iron in your blood.

The WIC staff will ask questions and discuss your health and nutrition. At the end of this appointment you will be told if you and your children are eligible for WIC services.

If you are eligible for Wisconsin WIC benefits, you will receive an eWIC card to purchase specific healthy foods at the grocery store. You will continue to have appointments at the WIC clinic about every three months to receive nutrition education, relevant health care referrals, and more food benefits.

Wisconsin eWIC System

Wisconsin uses the eWIC system. This replaces paper checks and vouchers with a WI WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) Card. You can use your card at checkout when purchasing WIC approved foods at your local grocery store. The cashier will swipe your 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 Wisconsin WIC EBT Card will be automatically refilled electronically.

Check Wisconsin WIC EBT Card Balance
To check your WI WIC EBT Card balance you can:

  • Go to the eWIC Customer Service website:
  • Call the eWIC automated phone line at: 877-231-3452

How long can I be on WIC?

Wisconsin 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 WI 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 WI 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 Wisconsin 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 WI 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.