All WIC agencies will move from providing checks to using electronic benefit transfer (EBT) to deliver WIC food benefits. This transition to EBT, referred to as eWIC, will create an easier shopping experience. WIC families will be able to purchase products over multiple trips to the store rather than purchasing everything at one time during the month. For Pike County, Missouri WIC Clients, this update is scheduled to take place by August 2020.
Participants should know these key points regarding the upcoming upgrade to the new card:
- eWIC card requires a PIN to use benefits for increased security
- eWIC card will be similar to a debit card for increased privacy
- Benefits for each household will be on one card, rather than multiple checks, and issued for up to three months at a time for convenience
- In-store transactions will be quicker
- WIC food items may be purchased as needed throughout the month, instead of all at one time
In addition, there is now a Missouri WIC mobile app for participants:
- The application will assist participants in identifying WIC-approved food items at the grocery store. The application will allow participants to scan an item’s UPC code to ensure that it is a WIC-approved item before checking out, reducing the need to return an unapproved product to the shelf.
- The application will feature nutritional information, food preparation tips, and recipes to help WIC participants get the most out of the WIC program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is an eWIC card?
An eWIC card holds WIC food benefits that the participant can use at the grocery store.
Will SNAP benefits and WIC benefits be on the same card?
No. The eWIC card for the WIC program will be separate from the EBT card for the SNAP program.
Will participants still be able to use their checks that were already printed?
Yes. Participants will still be able to use their checks until they run out and should have no reason to switch over to an eWIC card early unless they have a food package change or the checks are stolen.
Will the eWIC card be able to have three (3) months’ worth of benefits loaded onto it?
Yes. The eWIC card will have the ability to hold three (3) months’ worth of benefits. Unused benefits will expire in the same way as they do with the current check system. Participants will still have to return to the WIC clinic to receive additional benefits and nutrition education.
Will there be one (1) card for all household members on WIC?
Yes. All family members on WIC in the same household will have their benefits on one (1) card. Foster children will receive their own cards. You will use this card at every appointment to add the next set of benefits. The card is not to be used and then thrown away.
Who can change the PIN?
Only the authorized representative can change the PIN for an eWIC card.
Do participants need to show identification with their eWIC card at the grocery store?
No. Proper identification is not required with the eWIC card at the grocery store. The PIN will be the participant’s identification for using the card.
How will the eWIC card work at the store?
The process will be very similar to using a debit or credit card. Participants will shop for their WIC approved items as usual. At checkout, the eWIC card will be inserted into the card reader where WIC approved items will be deducted from the balance of the benefit package on the card. Unused benefits will remain on the card and will expire the last day of the month at midnight.
What happens if a participant loses their card?
If a participant loses their eWIC card, it will be placed on the Hot Card List and after a 5-day waiting period the authorized representative will be able to come into the local agency with appropriate proof of identity to get a new one.
Will retailers accept checks and eWIC cards?
Yes. With the transition to eWIC, retailers will accept both eWIC cards and checks.
Can eWIC cards be used at self-checkout registers?
No. Technology is still under development by retailers.
Can participants shop in other states with their Missouri eWIC card?
No. Missouri eWIC cards are ONLY accepted at Missouri authorized WIC retailers.
What happens to eWIC cards of foster children when they move to a different household?
The eWIC card should follow the foster child. Each foster child will be assigned an eWIC card of their own. If multiple foster children reside in one household, the authorized representative may label each card with the child’s initials to keep them separated.
Can eWIC cards be used at all stores?
No. Missouri eWIC cards can only be used at stores displaying the Missouri eWIC Authorized Retailer decal.
What should I do if an item on the WIC Approved Food List does not get deducted from my eWIC card at checkout?
After scanning all items, WIC-approved food items will be deducted from the eWIC card. Check the receipt to ensure the items are correctly deducted before pressing the key to confirm your purchase.
What is the WICShopper Application?
WICShopper is a specialized WIC smartphone application. The application will assist participants in identifying WIC-approved food items at the grocery store. The application will allow participants to scan an item’s Universal Product Code (UPC) to ensure that it is a WIC-approved item before checking out. The application will feature nutritional information, food preparation tips, and recipes to help WIC participants get the most out of the WIC program.
When will I get my eWIC card?
After your local agency transitions to eWIC, you will receive your eWIC card at your next scheduled appointment. There is no reason to switch over to an eWIC card early unless you have a food package change or your checks are lost or stolen.
My partner and I share the shopping in our household. May we each get a card for the same account?
No. Only one card is assigned per household.