WIC EBT Nationwide
The “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” was passed by congress and signed by the President on December 13, 2010. This law not only reauthorized child nutrition programs but also mandated all state WIC agencies nationwide to implement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems by October 1, 2020. As of November 2014, ten states (Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada) and various Indian Tribal Organizations have fully implemented WIC EBT.
California was awarded USDA grant funds on September 17, 2010 to conduct a comprehensive EBT feasibility study and begin planning projects. The study determined that EBT is feasible within the State’s operating environment and the planning phase is in progress.
Shopping with EBT will be easier for everyone!
- With WIC EBT, paper checks are eliminated. An entire household’s benefits are combined in one account and purchased with an EBT card.
- Approved WIC foods are automatically deducted from the family’s account at the time of purchase and, at the end of the transaction, a receipt is provided showing the WIC foods remaining in the account for future purchase.
- With WIC EBT, checkout times are reduced because cashiers are no longer required to:
• Validate the shopper’s identity – the WIC shopper enters a secret Personal Identification Number (PIN)
• Check the “valid through” date of each item – the system deducts from the family’s total benefits only the foods available during the current valid through date
• Verify manually that items being purchased are the correct quantity – this is done automatically by the system
• Collect the shopper’s signature
- WIC EBT allows the shopper to have a “mixed basket.” At most stores, shoppers are no longer required to separate WIC food items from other items. WIC-allowed foods are identified automatically as they are scanned.
- WIC foods can be purchased when needed rather than all at one time.
- WIC EBT’s reduced paper usage is environmentally friendly.
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