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WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines 2017-2018

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
WIC Policy Memo #2017-3
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (114.65 KB)
DATE: April 18, 2017
MEMO CODE: WIC Policy Memorandum: #2017-3
SUBJECT: Publication of the 2017-2018 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Income Eligibility Guidelines
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
WIC State Agency Directors
All Regions

This policy memorandum transmits the new Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that were published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2017, at 82 FR 13788.

Section 17(d)(2)(A) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (42 USC 1786(d)(2)(A)), requires the establishment of income criteria to be used with nutritional risk criteria in determining a person’s eligibility for participation in the WIC program. Income-eligibility for the WIC program is determined using income standards as prescribed under section 9(b) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 USC 1758(b)). The income limit is 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, as adjusted. Section 9(b) also requires that these guidelines be revised annually to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The annual revision for 2017 was published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at 82 FR 8831, on Jan. 31, 2017. In accordance with the established income guidance, the revised WIC income eligibility guidelines are to be used in conjunction with the WIC regulations at 7 CFR 246.7(d).

WIC state agencies may implement the revised IEGs concurrently with the implementation of IEGs under the Medicaid Program. State agencies that do not coordinate implementation with revised Medicaid guidelines must implement the revised WIC IEGs no later than July 1, 2017.

WIC state agencies must ensure that Management Information Systems incorporate the 2017-2018 changes accordingly.

A supplemental chart is also attached for state agencies to use in determining the annual, monthly, twice-monthly, biweekly and weekly income limits for a family size greater than eight.

Sarah Widor
Supplemental Food Programs Division

Page updated: January 12, 2022

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.