Florida WIC Application Information
Florida's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also called Florida WIC, gives special consideration to the needs of pregnant and breast feeding low-income women and children. Nutritious food is provided for women and children for nutritional needs during this important time. However, coverage for women may end soon after giving birth but benefits can be retained until six months after the birth of a child if the woman is breast feeding.
Florida WIC also provides formula for babies as well as basic foods like cheese, bread and milk for their children. In addition to supplying nutritious foods, WIC also provides nutrition education and counseling at Florida WIC clinics along with screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services. A list of WIC clinics can be found at www.wicoffice.net/wic-clinics.
For one to be eligible for the WIC program in Florida, you must either be a pregnant woman, breastfeeding new mother, an infant, or a child up to 5 years old. Fathers who are left in charge of small children are also encouraged to apply for WIC. Your income must be below the specified federal poverty level and have a nutritional need that can be helped by WIC foods. It is mandatory that before you start enjoying the benefits of the program and about every six months after that, you or your child will be checked by a doctor, nurse, or nutritionist to see if you have a special need for WIC foods. You will graduate from the program when you no longer have that special need.
The purpose of WIC in Florida is to improve your health by:
- Providing you and your children with some of the foods your body needs to be healthy. WIC foods are meant to be used along with the other foods you usually buy.
- Providing nutrition education to help you and your family eat better and save money on food. Nutrition education is available to you when you pick up your WIC checks. You may see movies, get pamphlets or newsletters, go to short nutrition classes, or talk individually with the nutritionist to learn about nutrition and health.
- Helping you get into other health and social service programs that you or your children may need.
The Florida WIC Program is designed to serve certain categories of women, infants, and children. The eligibility prerequisites for WIC are based on those categories, state of residence, income, and nutritional needs.
Applicants must live in the state of Florida. People who are applying for Florida WIC benefits must live in the state of Florida. Optionally, Florida may require applicants to live in a local service area and apply at a WIC clinic that serves that area. The amount of time living in Florida or the local service area is not required for applicants to meet the WIC residency requirement.
Applicants who have TANF, Medicaid or SNAP benefits are automatically eligible, but additional requirements may determine whether or not an applicant is accepted into the WIC program.
Pregnant, during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth of an infant or end of the pregnancy Postpartum, up to 6 months after birth of the infant or end of the pregnancy Breast feeding, Up until the infants 1st birthday.
All WIC applicants in Florida must be seen by a health professional such as a nurse, physician, or nutritionist so they can determine if the applicant is at nutrition risk. In most cases this can be done at your local WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant, though the applicant can see other health professionals such as their own physician. Some examples for nutrition risk are anemia (low blood levels), underweight, or history of poor pregnancy outcome. An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions on the Florida list of WIC nutrition risk criteria.
In order to be eligible for WIC in Florida your income must be below the specified federal income level or other poverty standard set by the state of Florida. Your eligibility can also be determined automatically depending on participation in certain programs.
WIC Application Instructions
Unlike other programs, to apply to be a WIC beneficiary in Florida, you must contact your local agency to set up an appointment.
That means, after passing the above mentioned criteria i.e. categorical, residential, income and nutrition risk, you now need to contact your local WIC office. A list of WIC offices in Florida can be found by clicking here. Alternatively you can call l (813) 307-8074
Sometimes WIC agencies in Florida do not have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC or calls to apply. When this happens, Florida WIC agencies must keep a list, called a waiting list, of individuals who want to apply and are likely to be served. Florida WIC agencies then use a special system, called a Priority System, to determine who will get WIC benefits first when more people can be served. The purpose of the priority system is to make sure that WIC services and benefits are provided first to participants with the most serious health conditions such as anemia, underweight, history of problems during pregnancy.