eWIC - Local Agency
WIC in 2020
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.
What is eWIC?
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296, was implemented to increase access to healthy food for low-income children, and mandates that states must implement electronic benefit transfer (EBT) by October 1, 2020 (42 U.S.C. 1786 et. seq.) for all Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC program) benefits. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ (DHSS) WIC program is transitioning to an EBT system, eWIC, beginning in October 2019. DHSS anticipated statewide implementation in all 118 local agencies and approximately 620 authorized WIC retailers to enhance WIC benefits delivery to over 100,000 monthly participants by August 2020.
Welcome to Missouri WIC DHSS Catalog #1207
This handout is to provide counseling to new participants about the WIC program. The translated versions are available for downloading: Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Chinese, Farsi, French, Hindi, Hmong, Korean, Nepali, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
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.
When will staff be trained?
Local agency staff will be trained one or two weeks prior to their scheduled rollout. The training will consist of system changes (MOWINS), policies, and procedures.
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. Retailers will be able to accept both eWIC and checks during the transition.
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.
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.
How does the authorized representative change the PIN?
The authorized representative must visit their local agency to reset the PIN.
How do I know what benefits to put on the eWIC card when the participant still has checks?
An eWIC card will be issued once the participant has depleted their current checks. If the WIC participant needs a food package change, the local agency must contact the MOWINS Help Desk for assistance before issuing eWIC benefits.
Does the checkout process change if the household has multiple eWIC cards, when there are foster children?
Each eWIC card must have a separate transaction. Multiple eWIC cards cannot be used in one transaction.