Applying For Connecticut WIC
Connecticut WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The Connecticut WIC program aims to protect the health of low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to the age of 5 who are at a nutritional risk. This is done through WIC approved nutritious foods you can purchase using paper vouchers/checks, or in some states your WIC EBT card.
Nutrition Risk Requirements
Anyone who applies for Connecticut WIC benefits must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist. They must determine whether the applicant is at a nutrition risk. In most cases, this can be done at a local WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. However, if need be, this information can be obtained from another health professional such as the applicants doctor. Being a nutrition risk means that an individual has a medical-based or dietary-based condition.
For medical-based condition it could be anemia, underweight or a history of poor pregnacy outcome. For a dietary-based condition, this could include having a poor diet. At a minimum, the applicant's height and weight must be taken and bloodwork drawn up to check for anemia. An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions listed on the state's list of WIC nutrition risk criteria.
Before applying for the CT WIC program, you can see if you are potentially eligible through the online Prescreening Tool. Please note, this tool is not considered an application. You still need to follow the application process for this state. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Connecticut WIC benefits provide:
- Individual time to speak with a nutritionist or trained professional about your diet or your child's diet
- Breastfeeding support and information
- Opportunity to meet and talk to other moms with young children
- Referrals to health care and other social service programs
- An eWIC card to buy healthy food for you or your children
People who are eligible for Connecticut WIC benefits are:
Through pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth or after pregnancy ends.
Up to infant's 1st birthday.
Non-breastfeeding postpartum women
Up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends.
Up to 1st birthday. WIC serves 45 percent of all infants born in the United States.
Up to their 5th birthday. Fathers, grandparents, foster parents or other guardians may apply for WIC for their children.
Connecticut WIC Eligibility
To be eligible for the program you must meet the Connecticut WIC Income Guidelines, which is set at or below 185% of the federal poverty income limit. WIC can count an unborn infant as a household member unless it is against your beliefs to do so.
The WIC staff must complete a nutrition assessment. The nutritionist will discuss you and your families eating habits, overall health and any other additional questions about your family's health and or nutrition goals.
You must live in the state of Connecticut, though you do not need to be a US citizen. WIC does not require you provide proof of citizenship or alien status. Participating in the Connecticut WIC program will not affect your immigration or naturalization status.
Please note, if anyone applying for benefits are currently receiving other benefits such as SNAP, TFA or from HUSKY are automatically income-eligible for the Connecticut WIC program. A person who documents that he/she is a member of a family that contains a TFA recipient or that contains a pregnant woman or an infant who receives HUSKY/Medicaid shall also be determined adjunctively income eligible for WIC.
To start the application process for the CT WIC program, you will need to call your local WIC office that serves your area and schedule an appointment.
As a reminder, use store savings cards, coupons and store promotions to save money. They ask that you respect the WIC staff and store employees. It is considered abuse if you provide false information and purchasing the wrong foods as well as physical and or verbal actions against other WIC participants, staff, property or store employees. If you feel that someone on the WIC staff, another participant or someone at the store is doing something wrong, they recommend you call the state WIC office toll free at 800-741-2142.
Connecticut WIC Appointment
When applying for the CT WIC Program, you will need to bring the following items to your WIC certification appointment. The staff can tell you which forms or papers you should bring to show your income, identity and residence.
Proof of Income
If you have no income or no proof of your income, you can fill out a form stating you have no income. However, within one month you must show proof of income or proof that you do not have income so you can still apply for WIC services.
Proof of Identity
If you do not have any form of identification, WIC staff will tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.
Proof of Residence
If you do not have proof of residence or are homeless, WIC staff will tell you what to do so you can still apply for WIC services.
The person who is applying for Connecticut WIC benefits must be at the appointment. If the WIC services are for a child, the child must be there. If an applicant is seriously ill or in the hospital, the applicant may not have to be at the appointment. If you have questions, contact your local WIC office for more information.
The first WIC visit can take from 1-2 hours. The next appointments you have for WIC usually takes between 20 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on the person, the next appointment may be in 1, 2 or 3 month.
What is a certification?
The first WIC visit is called the "WIC certification" visit. At this visit, the person applying for the Connecticut WIC Program has her eligibility requirements reviewed by WIC staff. All of the eligibility requirements must be met to be on WIC. If a person meets all the Connecticut WIC program requirements, he or she qualifies for the program. A "certification period" is the amount of time a WIC participant is eligible or allowed to receive WIC benefits.
How long can my child or I receive WIC services?
Pregnant women can get WIC services for their whole pregnancy. As soon as you know you are pregnant, apply for WIC. You will be able to get your benefits longer. Once you have your baby, you can get services for up to 1 year if you are breastfeeding your baby. If you are not able to or choose not to breastfeed, you can get CT WIC services for up to 6 months after you have your baby.
Children can get WIC services from birth to the month of their 5th birthday however, the WIC Program requires you re-apply each year for your child and attend nutrition education sessions at least four times per year. When your WIC certification period ends, you must apply again and meet the Connecticut WIC eligibility requirements. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can continue to get WIC services.
Connecticut WIC EBT
The state has now moved over to the new eWIC system. It is safer, easier and a lot more convenient to use to purchase WIC approved foods. You are given a WIC EBT (Electronic benefit transfer) card that acts like a debit card. Now at check out, you'll be able to swipe your eWIC Card the same way that you would with a debit or credit card. All of the foods for your whole family will be together on one card. Once the cashier swipes your Connecticut EBT WIC card at checkout, it will automatically deduct the amount from your WIC balance. The cashier will give you a receipt which will show your remaining balance and the date your benefits will expire.
Each month, instead of having to go down to your local WIC clinic to pick up your paper vouchers or checks, WIC will electronically refill your balance on your WIC EBT card. To check the balance on your WIC EBT card:
- Check your last store receipt
- See a grocery store cashier or go to the Customer Service Desk for a print out of your current balance
- Call the toll-free number on the back of your eWIC card for balance inquiry
- Visit ConnectEBT.com to view and print your balance
What if I forget my PIN or want to change it?
You can change your pin online at ConnectEBT.com, or call the toll-free number on the back of your eWIC card.
What if I enter the wrong PIN?
Do not try to guess your PIN. If the correct PIN is not entered on the third try, your PIN will be locked. This is done as a protection from someone guessing your PIN and getting your food benefits. You can wait until midnight for your account to automatically unlock, or call the number on the back of your Connecticut WIC EBT card.
What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?
Call your Connecticut WIC Program right away. They will stop anyone from using your food benefits and help you get a new card.
When will I have my benefits?
Current food benefits loaded at the Connecticut WIC office will be available immediately. Food benefits for upcoming months will be deposited onto your eWIC card at midnight on the beginning date and will expire at midnight on the ending date.
Research has shown that breast milk is the best food for the baby's first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional and economical benefits to mother and baby. Since a major goal of the Connecticut WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, CT WIC encourages participating mothers to choose breastfeeding in the following ways:
- Mothers are provided with breastfeeding information and support
- Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in Connecticut WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers
- Mothers who exclusively breastfeed receive a larger amount and variety of foods
- Mothers can receive a pump and other breastfeeding items if needed to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding
Length of WIC Participation
Connecticut WIC is considered a short-term program. A participate "graduates" at the end of one or more of their certification periods. A certification period is the length of time a CT WIC participate is eligible to receive benefits. Depending on the persons condition, either pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, an infant or child, an eligible person usually receives benefits from 6 months to a year, at which time they are required to re-apply.
The WIC Waiting List
In some situations, WIC agencies may not have enough financial backing to serve everyone who qualifies for the Connecticut WIC program or those who call to apply. At this point, the WIC agencies must keep a list that is referred to as the "waiting list". It contains all of the individuals who want to apply for the Connecticut WIC program and are likely to be served. From there, the WIC agencies use a special system called a "Priority System". Based on conditions like most serious health conditions (anemia, underweight, pregnancy problems), this system will determine who will be served next to receive CT WIC benefits. There are 7 priorities used in this priority system, the details for each priority and how they are determined are listed below.
The following applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions such as anemia, underweight, overweight or pre-term birth:
- Pregnant Women
- Breastfeeding Women
Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had nutrition-related medical conditions.
Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.
The following applicants with dietary problems, for example a poor diet:
- Pregnant Women
- Breastfeeding Women
Children with dietary problems, for example a poor diet.
Postpartum (non-breastfeeding) women with nutrition related-medical conditions or dietary problems.
Current WIC participants who without providing the WIC supplemental foods could continue to have medical and/or dietary problems.
Please note, state agencies can decide to place homeless and migrant participants in Priorities 5 through 7. At the state agencies option, postpartum women may be placed in Priorities 3 through 5. Any priority can be subdivided into subcategories of risk, using factors such as income or age.
WIC Participants who are Moving
If you are receiving Connecticut WIC benefits and are moving from one area or state to another, then you will be placed at the top of a waiting list when you move and are also served first when the WIC agency can serve more individuals. While moving, you can still continue to receive your benefits until your certification period expires as long as there is proof that you are receiving WIC benefits in another area or state. Before you move, you need to contact your local WIC clinic and let them know.
In most cases the staff will give you a special card, Verification of Certification Card (VOC), which will prove that you are receiving WIC benefits. After you do move, you will then need to call the WIC clinic in your new area to schedule an appointment. When attending your appointment, make sure to take the VOC card that was given to you to show proof that you were participating in the CT WIC program.
If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local Connecticut WIC program that manages these benefits and services.