nant women can be certified from the time they become pregnant until 6 weeks postpartum, and both children and postpartum women are certified for 6-month periods.

Core Estimates of Eligibility

The estimated number of income eligible infants and children. The core estimates of infants are used as the basis to estimate the number of income eligible pregnant and postpartum women.

Coverage Rate

The average monthly number of persons issued WIC food instruments in a calendar year (from administrative records) divided by the estimated number of individuals fully eligible for WIC in the same calendar year.


Economic Unit or Family

WIC program rules define the economic unit as a group of related or nonrelated individuals who are living together as one economic unit. The WIC eligibility estimates currently use the Census Bureau’s definition of the family to define the economic unit, which is defined as all persons related by blood or marriage who live together.


Food Instrument

A voucher or check that can be exchanged for food in a participating retail grocery store. The food instrument lists the quantities of specific foods, including brand names, that can be purchased at the authorized vendor. Food instruments vary according to the participant’s eligibility category.

Full Eligibility

Any individual who meets both income eligibility requirements and is assessed to be nutritionally at risk

Full-Funding Participation

The number of fully eligible individuals who wish to participate given the current budget for administrating the WIC Program.



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