DPH: Connecticut eWIC
WIC

Connecticut eWIC

 
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Nutrition Services (FNS), has mandated that all WIC state agencies implement Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) by October 1, 2020.

EBT has been around the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users for over 10 years.  Unlike SNAP, the process for the WIC Program is much more complicated because the WIC Program is based on specific food items rather than dollars.  As a result, only a few WIC state agencies have implemented WIC EBT so far. 

The Connecticut WIC Program began the planning process for WIC EBT in 2010.  The WIC EBT transactions and card will be referred to as eWIC.  An eWIC card will replace the current paper food vouchers for food benefit issuance and redemption at authorized WIC grocery stores.  Implementation will occur between January and June 2016.

 

The new eWIC card will offer the following: 

  • A safer, easier and more convenient way for participants to shop for food.
  • All members of the same household on WIC will have their benefits on one card. 
  • Similar to a debit/credit card with a magnetic strip.
  • Reduction in errors in choosing WIC approved foods.
  • The family can buy their foods when they need them. 
  • The cash register/EBT system checks the participant's available food prescription balance right then. 

In addition to the safer, easier and more convenient way to shop, the eWIC process will also provide easier and faster service at the local WIC office.

  • The same card is used at each appointment.
  • More time talking about the family’s health.
  • The new food package is automatically added to the eWIC card.

For Retailers, the change to eWIC will:

  • Reduce the amount of time that is spent on a WIC sale per family.
  • Improve processing of WIC benefits, customer service and reduce confusion on which foods items are authorized for purchase. 
During the pilot and statewide rollout, the stores could be accepting both checks and the eWIC card. This will continue through 2016 until the last issued check has been processed. 

 

Connecticut’s Implementation Timeline

 

January 2015

  • The Connecticut WIC Program began work on the transition to eWIC with Xerox.

October 2015-March 2016

  • The WIC Program will work with the authorized WIC vendors to upgrade their cash register equipment in preparation for processing eWIC transactions. 
  • The WIC Program local agency staff will begin to educate families on the transition to eWIC benefits.
January 2016-March 2016 (eWIC Pilot)
  • The East Hartford Local Agency will implement eWIC as the first agency.
  • The Hartford Local Agencies will transition to eWIC.
  • The Meriden and Middletown Local Agencies will transition to eWIC.

April 2016-June 2016 (Statewide Rollout-in order)

  • Bristol/New Britain
  • Family Strides (Torrington)
  • TVCCA
  • ACCESS
  • Danbury
  • Waterbury
  • Yale New Haven Hospital
  • Bridgeport
  • Stamford
 
Keep checking the website for updates.
 
 
 
Have questions or comments about the transition to eWIC cards? 




Content Last Modified on 8/17/2015 2:02:48 PM