Applying For South Carolina WIC

South Carolina WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.

WIC Prescreening

Before applying for the SC 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.

The South Carolina WIC program provides:

  • Monthly checks to buy healthy food
  • Personalized nutrition information and support
  • Breastfeeding support, including one-on-one counseling with a mother who has breastfed
  • Referrals for services that can benefit the whole family

The SC WIC program also offers immunization screening and referral, infant formula, breastfeeding support, and nutrition and health classes on a variety of topics including meal planning, caring for a new baby, steps toward better health, and more.

South Carolina WIC Application

To start the application process for SC WIC benefits simply call 855-472-3432 and schedule an appointment. WIC has day, evening, and Saturday appointments available. WIC even has walk-in hours. At your appointment the WIC staff will determine if you are eligible to receive South Carolina WIC benefits.

Remember, please bring the family members applying for the SC WIC program to the appointment (you, your child and/or your infant). If the appointment is for a child, only a parent or legal caretaker who lives with the child can bring the child and complete the paperwork.

South Carolina WIC Appointment

At your appointment, you will need to bring the information listed below:

Proof of Identity
Bring at least one form of identification (ID) for yourself and one form of ID for your infant or child who is applying for WIC.

For adults applying below is a list of acceptable proof of identity:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Valid ID card with photo
  • Current bill with name on it
  • Valid insurance card/policy
  • Active SC Medicaid card or notice of eligibility
  • Valid passport
  • Valid US military identification
  • Social Security card
  • Marriage license
  • Valid school ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Valid SC DMV ID with photo
  • Current pay stub with name
  • Valid beginner's permit
  • Valid SC WIC ID card

For infants and children:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Current foster child placement letter/notice
  • Valid school ID
  • Active SC Medicaid card or notice of eligibility
  • Valid SC WIC ID card

Proof of Residency
Bring in one item that proves where you live. The item must show your street address. Post Office (PO) box numbers will not be accepted. Proof of residency documents that WIC accepts:

  • Valid SC driver's license with current street address
  • Car registration/title
  • Current bank statement
  • Mortgage or rental agreement
  • Valid SC DMV ID card with current street address
  • Pay stub or military leave and earnings statement (LES) with street address
  • Current bill with street address
  • Voter registration card
  • Valid SC beginner's permit with current street address
  • Tax document (most recent) for the self-employed only
  • Current letter from a reliable third party (such as a social worker, landlord, etc.) confirming your address

Proof of Income
Please bring the last 4 weeks of pay stubs if paid weekly or the last 2 pay stubs if paid twice per month as proof of income for everyone living in your home for the last 30 days. Some of the proofs that WIC accepts:

  • Active SC Medicaid card or notice of eligibility
  • Valid SNAP notice of eligibility (An EBT card is not considered acceptable proof)
  • Valid TANF notice of eligibility
  • Current pay stubs
  • Regular cash contributions: bring a signed/dated letter from any person (not living in the household) who regularly contributes income to the household
  • Unemployment letter/notice or Workers Compensation letter
  • Recent leave and earnings statement (LES) for military personnel
  • Foster child placement letter/foster parent award letter showing the amount received for foster care
  • Court order or divorce decree showing alimony and/or child support
  • Self-employed only - Recent 1040ES quarterly tax form or company account books or 1040 form for the past year
  • Statement from employer dated within 30 days of the appointment

Part of qualifying for SC WIC benefits is through the income guidelines. View the South Carolina WIC Income Guidelines. Once you had your meeting and the staff has determined that you are eligible to receive South Carolina WIC benefits, this is what will happen once you are approved:

  • You'll receive personalized nutritional counseling
  • Their professional WIC staff will assign you a food package that provides participant-specific nutritious foods in quantities that meet your needs. The food package assigned to breastfeeding mothers provides the largest variety and amounts of foods
  • You'll be able to get these foods by using checks given to you by the staff. You can redeem the checks in WIC-approved grocery stores and Farmers Markets
  • You will be WIC-certified for a set length of time
  • You'll receive nutrition education. This is an important part of the South Carolina WIC program. They will offer both individual and group education sessions throughout your certification period

WIC Breastfeeding

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 South Carolina WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, SC 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 South Carolina 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

South Carolina 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 SC 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 SC WIC benefits. There are 7 priorities used in this priority system, the details for each priority and how they are determined are listed below.

Priority 1
The following applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions such as anemia, underweight, overweight or pre-term birth:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women
  • Infants

Priority 2
Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 3
Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 4
The following applicants with dietary problems, for example a poor diet:

  • Infants
  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women

Priority 5
Children with dietary problems, for example a poor diet.

Priority 6
Postpartum (non-breastfeeding) women with nutrition related-medical conditions or dietary problems.

Priority 7
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 South Carolina 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 SC WIC program.

If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local South Carolina WIC program that manages these benefits and services.

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