Local Agency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Is there any update on the effect of the pending immigrant policies nationwide and its effect on WIC?
On October 6, 1997, the state WIC office received guidance from the Western Region WIC Office that the National WIC Headquarters had been apprised by the Immigration and Naturalization Service office that participation in WIC does not give rise to a Public Charge determination.
Not all publicly funded benefits will be considered by the INS or the State Department in deciding whether someone is or is likely to become a public charge. Public Charge means an alien who has become (for deportation purposes) or is likely to become (for admission or adjustment of status purposes) “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.” Participation in the WIC Program does NOT give rise to a public charge determination.
I got a report that a family is making home brew with their WIC juice. Their children have been reported to me as, being out at all hours of the day and night unsupervised. What shall I do?
Call the Office of Children’s services to report this at 1-800-478-4444.
If the report is of a substantive nature, write a letter to the family and fill out an “Improper Action Report”. It is a serious noncompliance violation of WIC Program rules to use supplemental foods for this purpose. Not only does this practice deprive the child WIC participant of the needed supplemental foods, the practice is considered fraud and abuse. If substantiated, this could subject the individual to Civil Money Penalty as provided for in USDA regulations and could result in disqualification from participating in WIC. Make sure that the client’s right and responsibilities are signed and in the chart. Along with a thorough education about rules and procedures, a review of client rights and responsibilities should be provided by WIC staff. Documentation of this should be kept in the client’s chart.
Our clinic had a Dad come in who refused the hemoglobin for his child as he says the doctor has documented that the child has seizures when he gets poked or blood sticks. What shall we do?
According to the WIC Policy and Procedure Manual, “Exceptions to Blood Test Requirement” Exceptions to the blood test requirement rule are:
- Infants under six months of age.
- Children whose hemoglobin or hematocrit tested normal within their last certification period. However, the blood test must be performed on such children at least once every 12 months.
- Applicants whose religious beliefs do not allow them to have blood drawn. A statement noting the applicant’s refusal to have the blood test must be included in the applicant’s file.
- Applicants with a medical condition such as hemophilia or a serious skin disease for whom the blood test could be harmful to the applicant. A health care provider’s documentation of the medical condition must be included in the applicant’s file.
If a medical condition precludes hematological testing, local agencies should attempt to obtain information on possible anemia from the applicant’s health care provider. These attempts should be documented in the applicant’s file. If attempts to obtain this information are unsuccessful, the applicant may be certified based on other nutritional risk criteria. If the noted condition is considered treatable, such as a serious skin disease, a new statement from the health care provider is required for each subsequent certification. If the condition is considered “lifelong”, such as hemophilia, a new statement for each certification is not necessary.
Refusal of Blood Test
If an applicant or applicant’s parent or guardian refuses to have a blood test done, and the refusal is not based on medical or religious grounds, the applicant cannot be certified for WIC, even if the certification would have been based on a risk factor other than anemia. This does not apply to infants under six months of age, or children who are not due for a blood test because their hemoglobin or hematocrit tested normal within their last certification. However, such children will be required to have a blood test when they are recertified, unless it is precluded based on medical or religious grounds.
I have a child applicant who is from Mexico and is Hispanic. When I click “yes” to the Hispanic question in the AKWIC application and click OK, I receive the message “You Must Select At Least One Racial Code’. What am I supposed to do?
Ethnicity is either:
- Hispanic/Latino or
Race is considered to be:
- American Indian or AK Native: A person having origins in the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
- Asian: People having origins in the original peoples of the Far East, SE Asia or Indian subcontinent such as Cambodia, China, Japan or Korea etc.
- Black or African American: A person having origins in black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: A person with origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or the Pacific Islands.
- White: People having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, Middle East or North Africa.
You must choose both an ethnicity and a race.
Is prescribing ready-to-feed (RTF) formula my judgment or do I need a Enteral Nutrition Prescription Request (ENPR) form filled out?
The WIC Coordinator exercises their own judgment in prescribing RTF infant formula within the bounds of the policy established for its use. RTF formulas are extremely costly, especially in the rural areas. To help maintain cost efficiency and to allow us to serve as many Alaskans who need WIC services, we have made it a policy to issue only powdered, WIC contract formula. The use of RTF formula is permitted only under specific conditions such water source is unsafe/contaminated or a valid or documented reason that an infant’s caregiver is unable to properly follow the instructions for the correct and safe preparation of the infant’s formula. Prescribing an RTF infant formula does not require an ENPR. The reason that you are prescribing the RTF formula must be documented in the client’s chart (hard copy or computer).
How long do I need to keep client surveys?
Keep at least one copy of the survey and the summary of what you found for 3 years like all other records. Keep any details from individual surveys on the summary sheets.
I don’t get military pay check stubs (or LES) in my office very often. Can you help me determine what categories of pay that I include for WIC income determination?
WIC must use the information reflected on the LES:
Included as Gross Income:
Basic Allotment for Subsistence (BAS)
Family Separation Allowance
Foreign Duty Pay
Hazardous Duty Pay
These payments can be counted over a 12 month period
Excluded Income for Military Families:
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
Family Separation Housing
Overseas Housing Allowance
Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)