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How To Use WIC’S Online Prescreening Tool To Get Food Assistance

There’s a handy little online tool that can help you find food assistance via WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

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We’ll show you where to find it and how to use it so you can get started today. Regardless of how hard COVID-19’s economic impact has hit you, this much is true: You can’t stop eating.

Food is a necessity for everyone, but it becomes especially essential when very young children are in the picture, and their nutrition is at stake.

Through the WIC program, you can ensure your children get some of the nutrition they need. And to see if you qualify, there’s a WIC Prescreening Tool online that makes the process quite quick and pain-free. Let’s look at how it works.

Using the WIC Prescreening Tool

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service set up the WIC Prescreening Tool to give people a glimpse into the program’s application process. While handy, this tool is not a replacement for an appointment with your local WIC agency. As its name suggests, it’s just a prescreening tool to give you an idea where you stand.

Here are the steps to take so you can get started in applying for WIC:

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  1. Access the WIC Prescreening Tool online by going here. As you’ll see on the front page, the tool takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, but it could take a lot less time, depending on your answers.
  2. Click on “Get started” to begin answering questions about your eligibility.
  3. You will see a common theme with many of the eligibility questions. They will ask if certain conditions apply to you or anyone in your household. Keep this in mind when answering, as it will affect your eligibility.
  4. Continue to answer questions until it is no longer necessary. Once you see a message that says, “Based on your responses, you may be eligible for WIC benefits!” you will be asked to contact your local agency. This is to set up an appointment to truly determine if you qualify for WIC.
  5. You can print a summary of your prescreening to bring to your appointment. It may help accelerate the process by providing your agent with answers to questions they may need to ask.
  6. Below the “Print Summary” link, you should see an area with a documentation list. This details the different types of documents you’ll need to have to determine eligibility.

For instance, as proof of income, you’ll need to bring things like your most recent pay stubs or tax return. If you’re currently enrolled in any benefits programs that satisfy the automatic income requirement, you’ll need to bring those ID cards or notices of eligibility.

For residency, documents like current utility bills or a lease agreement may suffice. You will also need proof of ID, and may need proof of pregnancy, depending on where you live.

Contact your local agency to confirm the documents that are needed so you can be prepared for your appointment. You can find your agency here.

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