Frequently Asked Questions

Can WIC cardholders use coupons, discounts, or promotions for items they are buying with eWIC?

Yes! Participants are encouraged to use coupons as they help to cut food costs allowing the WIC program to serve more people. It is also considered discriminatory to exclude WIC participants from being able to benefit from discounts or promotions offered to other people who shop at your store.

Can WIC cardholders get an item free if they are using a buy-one-get-one free coupon?

Yes! If the offer involves product that the WIC participant has on their benefit balance, then you must allow the participant to use the coupon. Note that the "free" item will be given in addition to the other products on the WIC card.

If an item is on sale, do I charge the regular price or the sale price?

You must charge the WIC cardholder the same amount you would charge any other customer. This means that if a n item is on sale, you will charge the WIC participant the sale price of the item.

Does a WIC cardholder have to buy every item that is listed on their benefit balance?

No! WIC participants may purchase any items on their benefit balance that they wish to use as long as those benefits are available. Benefits expire at 11:59pm on the expiration date listed on the benefit balance inquiry.

Can WIC cardholders receive a rain check for an item if the store is out of the item or if it will not ring up as WIC allowed?

No! Stores are not allowed to issue rain checks or IOUs for any WIC food items. If an item is not available in your store, WIC participants can use those benefits at another vendor or at another time as long as benefits are available. This is why it is important for vendors to make every effort to stock a wide variety of WIC eligible foods at all times at their stores so as to avoid a participant having to shop elsewhere for their WIC benefits.

What do I do if a WIC cardholder tries to purchase an unauthorized food item?

If an item does not appear on the midpoint receipt and the participant is asking why a food they thought was WIC allowed is not covered, there is nothing the cashier can do to allow the item. Politely tell the cardholder that the item is not WIC allowed or not included in their benefits, and that it cannot be purchased with their WIC card. If the participant is insistent or rude, you may complete and submit an Issue Report to the Department.

How should I handle a situation in which the WIC cardholder is abusive or not courteous to a store cashier?

Helping a participant understand why a food is not WIC allowed can almost always help to de-escalate a tense situation. If a WIC cardholder is rude, or attempts to violate WIC Program rules, you may complete and submit a Vendor Issue Report. Please make sure to provide as much information regarding what happened as possible. When we receive this form, the local agency which provides WIC services to the participant's family will discuss the situation with the family or take more serious action if necessary.

Please note that vendors are expected to treat all WIC cardholders the same as any customer in their store therefore the same protocols and policies should be followed with WIC participants if a participant's behavior warrants action by the store.

Can a WIC cardholder purchase 2 one-half gallon milk containers if there is one gallon available on the WIC card?

No! Milk must be purchased in the size and fat content that is specifically prescribed. Only participants prescribed half-gallons of milk will be able to purchase half gallon containers.

Can a WIC cardholder buy sliced cheese?

Yes! Participants may buy 8oz or 16oz packages of sliced cheese. It is important to check the size of the package as many packages of sliced cheeses are 10oz or 12oz and therefore are not WIC eligible.

Why are stores required to stock a certain number of cans of WIC approve formula?

By requiring certain minimum amounts of formula in stock, the Department is ensuring that a WIC participant's benefits can be filled when they come into the store, rather than having them unable to use the WIC Card.

Questions or Feedback

We welcome any questions or feedback at any time. To contact us, email or you can call 844-901-0962. Make sure to provide us with a detailed message including the store that you are representing and what your question is. We will always attempt to respond within 1 - 2 business days at most.