WIC Benefits Can Help With Food Costs

Many military families, particularly overseas, are eligible for the federally-funded Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program.  WIC provides eligible patrons with vouchers to buy nutritious food items.

WIC benefits are available to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, infants, and children up to age 5.  WIC eligibility is usually based upon income, though some people may qualify due to other specific criteria.  The income level requirements vary depending upon your location and your family size.

With the military, there are always tricky questions about what income “counts” towards various different government benefits.  Sometimes it feels like you will get 10 different answers if you ask the same question 10 different times!  Please talk to someone in your specific area to be sure that understand the rules specifically.  I would even recommend that you ask a 2nd person the same question, just to be sure.  (This is especially true if you are in an area where there isn’t much military.)

WIC programs are run at the state level.  If you think you might be eligible for WIC, do an internet search for WIC plus the state in which you live.  At overseas locations, the WIC program is administered through a base-level office, usually located in or near the family support center (Fleet and Family Service Center, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Army Community Services, and Marine Corps Community Services.)

In general, WIC benefits are transferable when you move from one state to a new state.  If the new state has a waiting list because they do not have enough funds for all eligible beneficiaries, a person who has been receiving WIC in a prior state will be put at the top of the waiting list.

The WIC program can help provide nutritious foods to families who might otherwise struggle to keep good food on the table.  If you could use some help, and you think you might qualify, do a quick internet search or make a few phone calls.  It could be a big help for your family!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Suzanne Olsson

    My father passed away, he did serve during the End of World War @ and beginning of Vietnam. She applied for VA Benefits but was denied. She had to quit working because she got laryngeal cancer, then my dad suddenly got sick and passed and the only insurance they had was not enough enough for the funeral,, but their bills never changed. My mother gets $1600 a month for Social security, but with still having the same bills and living expenses every month I have to help pay for her bills and presriptions, My son age 29 buys her groceries. She cannot live without help, she has disconnection notices from the electric compamy and Charter. I need to find her help.

    • Kate

      Suzanne, without knowing all the details of your mother’s situation, I can’t really advise you on what to do next. It is possible that she is eligible for a VA pension benefit based upon her income and medical expenses. If you can not work through the VA application process yourself, a Veterans Services Officer (VSO) may be able to help. VSOs can be found through the large military organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and also through some state or county governments.)

      You may also want to brainstorm ways to decrease her living expenses, perhaps by moving to a less expensive apartment.

      Good luck to you.

  • Willie Burleson

    I joined the Marine Reserves in 1957 before graduating high school with the understanding that when I went to summer camp I had the option to stay and finish my Active duy time which was three (3) years. All of the time I was Training in Galveston while attending High school I had a Classification of 1A . When time came to go to Summer Camp the day before leaving we had to Capture a make shift Command post I had an Accident in the field that day and injured my ankle and knee and got sick on sea ration that they served US My condition worsen while we were in flight. when the plan landed they took me straight to hospital and denied me the right to stay and finish out my Career on active duty. I have filed for Disability Compensation since about 1964 and have been Denied on every claim. The last was March 23, 2015. I only receive $1205 per month from Social Security. I need help.