WIC Eligibility

WIC is available to pregnant, breast feeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5. To participate, these persons must:
  • Be at nutritional risk. A nutritionist makes the nutritional risk assessment. Examples of nutritional risk conditions are:
    • Abnormal anthropometric or hematological measurements
    • Conditions that predispose a person to inadequate nutritional patterns such as lead poisoning, mental retardation, alcohol or drug abuse.
    • Documented nutrition-related medical conditions
    • Inadequate dietary intake
  • Have a family income less than 185% of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. A person receiving Medicaid, Work First Families Assistance (TANF), or Food Stamps automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
  • Live in North Carolina.

WIC Certification Periods

  • Breast feeding postpartum women are certified for 12 months postpartum.
  • Children are certified every 6 months until 5 years of age.
  • Infants are certified up to 1 year.
  • Non-breast feeding postpartum women are certified until 6 months postpartum.
  • Pregnant women are certified for their pregnancy and up to 6 weeks postpartum. By 6 weeks postpartum they must be re-certified as a postpartum or breast feeding woman.

WIC Income Guidelines

Once the size and gross income of the economic unit (or household) have been determined and documented, staff use the poverty income guidelines included in the chart below to determine income eligibility. The guidelines are published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and are updated annually.

Income eligibility guidelines for WIC

  • 185% of the FFY U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines per the Federal Register.
  • A household (or economic unit) is defined as a person or group of persons, related or nonrelated, who usually (although not necessarily) live together, and whose production of income and consumption of goods or services are related. The income of everyone in the economic unit is counted to determine eligibility.