WIC Eligibility Priority System

Last Modified: 11/20/2013

Sometimes WIC agencies do not have enough money to serve everyone who needs WIC or calls to apply. When this happens, WIC agencies must keep a list, called a waiting list, of individuals who want to apply and are likely to be served. WIC agencies then use a special system, called a Priority System, to determine who will get WIC benefits first when more people can be served. The purpose of the priority system is to make sure that WIC services and benefits are provided first to participants with the most serious health conditions.

Priority I

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

  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women
  • Infants

Priority II

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

Priority III

  • Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority IV

The following applicants with dietary problems (like poor diet):

  • Infants
  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women

Priority V

  • Children with dietary problems (like poor diet).  

Priority VI

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

Priority VII

  • Current WIC participants who without providing the WIC supplemental foods could continue to have medical and/or dietary problems.

* State agencies can decide to place homeless and migrant participants in Priorities IV-VII. * At State agency option, postpartum women may be placed in Priorities III-V. * Any priority can be subdivided into subcategories of risk, using factors such as income or age.

Click here to go back for more information about how to apply.