When Applying for WIC If You Are in the Military, Does it Go Off Your Base Pay or Your Total Income?

by Brooke Julia ; Updated July 27, 2017
Even military fathers can qualify for WIC.

WIC is the government's Women, Infants and Children program designed to give low-income families the ability to buy nutritious food. Instead of giving recipients cash or a debit card, WIC is provided in the form of food vouchers and must be used for very specific items, including juice, cereal, rice, beans, tuna, milk and cheese. These are nutrient-dense foods intended to balance the diets of those who might suffer a vitamin deficiency without them. Many military families are eligible for WIC, according to the American Red Cross.

Who's Eligible?

The WIC program assists pregnant women, and new mothers for up to one year after they've given birth if they are breast-feeding, or six months postpartum if they aren't breast-feeding. It covers infants and children up to five years of age, including foster children, and single fathers with a qualifying child, according to the American Red Cross.

Income Guidelines

Your income must fall within WIC guidelines to qualify for benefits. Guidelines fluctuate depending on the number of people in your military household, according to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service. Guidelines are higher in Hawaii and Alaska than they are in the contiguous states. The 2010 annual income guidelines in the contiguous states begin at $20,036 for a single person and increases by about $6,919 as the family grows in size. In Hawaii the guidelines begin at $23,501 for a one-person family and goes up by $7,955 for each additional person; in Alaska it begins at $25,031 and goes up $8,658 from there.

Military Pay that Counts

As of 2011, military pay that is counted during your WIC application includes base pay, basic allowance for subsistence, family separation allowance, continental United States cost-of-living allowance, clothing maintenance allowance, bonus pay, and foreign language pay. Jump-sea-flight-diving pay is also included unless these are done in a combat zone or during combat duty, according to Michigan.gov.

What Doesn't Count

As of 2011, military pay that isn't included in the consideration of your WIC application includes any combat zone or combat duty pay, including parachute duty, bacteria lab duty, or chemical munitions duty. Also omitted are overseas cost-of-living allowance, family subsistence supplemental allowance, basic allowance for housing, family separation housing allowance, or overseas housing allowance, according to Michigan.gov.

About the Author

Brooke Julia has been a writer since 2009. Her work has been featured in regional magazines, including "She" and "Hagerstown Magazine," as well as national magazines, including "Pregnancy & Newborn" and "Fit Pregnancy."

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