The Cherokee Nation recently announced new guidelines for determining income eligibility for benefits available to pregnant and nursing mothers and their infants through a federal program administered locally by the tribe. The new income guidelines were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and became effective on July 1.
The Cherokee Nation Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children program, which is often referred to at WIC, provides services to eligible women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum, as well as to infants and to children up to age of five. These services include providing nutritious foods, nutrition counseling and referrals to health services as well as other assistance programs.
To meet the new USDA income guidelines for WIC, participants must earn an amount equal to or less than the maximum amount figured per their family size. For example, a family of one whose annual income is equal to or less than $20,147 or whose monthly income is equal to or less than $1,679 is eligible for assistance. For each additional family member in the household, an additional $7,067 is allowed to the total annual income or an additional $589 to the total monthly income allowed. All members of a household will be used when determining family size.
Those who are currently enrolled in the Cherokee Nation Food Distribution Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid/SoonerCare, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are considered automatically income eligible for WIC services.
To qualify for WIC, a person must be physically present at certification, provide identification and proof of residency, be in one of the women, infants, or child categories that WIC serves, be at or below income guidelines, and be at medical or nutritional risk.
For more information about the new guidelines, contact the Cherokee Nation WIC Program at (800) 256-0671 ext. 5589 or (918) 453-5589.