The North Carolina WIC Program has moved from a paper-based method of WIC benefit issuance to an electronic benefit transfer system (eWIC). Instead of paper food instruments, WIC food benefits are issued into an electronic benefit account at the local WIC clinic. Families use their eWIC card and PIN to access their food benefits at the grocery store.
eWIC for Families
- To check your WIC food benefit balance, set your PIN or replace your eWIC card:
- Using Your North Carolina eWIC Card Brochure (PDF, 385 KB)
- Un Folleto de Use su Tarjeta eWIC de Carolina del Norte (PDF, 373 KB)
- NC WIC Program Shopping Guide (PDF, 6.2 MB)
- Questions about eWIC? Please contact your local agency.
The North Carolina WIC Program has completed eWIC implementation statewide. Please see the information below for more details regarding North Carolina’s transition to eWIC.
Other Important Information
- eWIC for Vendors Webinar - A pre-recorded webinar that was presented at the 2017 Vendor Training. Vendors should review this webinar prior to rollout.
- eWIC Vendor Flyer: NC eWIC is Coming! (PDF, 547 KB)
- N.C. WIC Vendor eWIC Update 1 (PDF, 656 KB)
- Things to Remember Checklist for Vendors (PDF, 205 KB)
- Terms and Acronyms (PDF, 296 KB)
N.C. WIC Authorized Product List (APL)
The North Carolina WIC Program Authorized Product List (APL) (XLSX, 691 KB) has been made available for vendor/retailer review. If you have questions, concerns, or would like items removed from the list, please send us an email inquiry.
Effective July 30, 2018 North Carolina WIC program is accepting new products for consideration including brand specific items.
Prior to submitting new product, review the North Carolina WIC Program Authorized Product List (APL) (XLSX, 691 KB) to verify submission will not be a duplicate.
Refer to the NC WIC Approved Foods Nutrition Criteria (PDF, 436 KB) prior to submitting any UPC.
To make submissions, please use the web-based NC WIC Approved Product Registration form.
Please note: UPC submissions will no longer be accepted through email.
Overall, vendors will experience labor savings because transactions require WIC customers to swipe a card, and no longer will require the counting and processing of food instruments (FIs) and cash-value vouchers (CVVs). Vendors will enjoy a more efficient check out process and receive payment faster through the Automated Clearing House (ACH). The checkout process will be less error prone because approved foods, effective dates and benefit amounts are validated by the system and many issues related to printed FIs and CVVs will be eliminated.
The eWIC card will be swiped by the WIC customer and foods are scanned and approved for purchase. The family’s account is checked for adequate benefit balance. The account is debited the appropriate quantity of WIC approved foods from the family’s eWIC card. It is important to note that the order of the transaction steps will change depending on the type of cash register system used by the vendor.
No. FNS and eWIC cards will be separate.
No. With FNS, formerly known as Food Stamps, the cardholder has a specific dollar amount benefit that can be used to purchase any FNS-approved food item. With eWIC, the WIC customer will continue to receive only specific food items which may be purchased.
No. If you are currently an authorized WIC vendor in good standing, you will be eligible to accept eWIC cards. You may need to upgrade your existing Point of Sale (POS) equipment or get new equipment to process eWIC transactions.
No. Self-checkout stations cannot be used to transact North Carolina eWIC.
Questions about eWIC?
Welcome to NC eWIC! Local agency eWIC resources are available to ensure eWIC rollout is a success.
eWIC Project Updates
- eWIC Project Update #2 (PDF, 322 KB)
- eWIC Project Update #1 (PDF, 555 KB)
- eWIC Rollout Map (PDF, 139 KB)
eWIC Training for Local Agencies
- NC eWIC Participant Education Checklist (PDF, 205 KB)
- Reading Your eWIC Receipt (PDF, 518 KB) | Cómo leer su recibo eWIC (PDF, 380 KB)
- NC eWIC Webinars
eWIC Policy Resources for Local Agencies
- NC Interim eWIC Program Manual Summary of Changes (PDF, 279 KB)
- NC Interim eWIC Program Manual (PDF, 487 KB)
- My Rights and Responsibilities (PDF, 5.2 MB)
- Español: Derechos y responsabilidades (PDF, 5.8 MB)
eWIC Promotional Materials
eWIC Vendor Resources for Local Agencies
Interactive Local Agency Vendor Triage Form (PDF, 116 KB)
No, WIC participants cannot use eWIC with online grocery ordering.
Yes, but there may be a limited number of stores offering eWIC if that area has not rolled out yet. The WIC participant will be encouraged to check in with the store/local WIC agency to verify eWIC is available before shopping. Please refer to the eWIC Certified Vendors document on the nutritionnc.com/ewic website for the list of vendors that accept eWIC in NC.
Yes, NC eWIC benefits can only be transacted in NC.
Anyone can download the Bnft app to their smart phone. However, an Electronic Benefits Account (EBA) must be created and eWIC card issued to set up the account using the app. Therefore, local agency staff and vendor personnel will not be able to set up accounts and see features of the app on their phones.
The North Carolina WIC Program Authorized Product List (APL) (XLSX, 691 KB) is currently only available online. The APL has been sent out to vendors. Updated North Carolina WIC Shopping Guides are being developed but will not be available prior to eWIC rollout. The current shopping guide (2015) should continue to be used with participants.
The Nutrition Services Branch (NSB) is in the final stages of testing WIChealth.org and we hope that it will be fully functional during eWIC rollout. With eWIC cards are not “loaded.” Local agencies will be allowed to issue food benefits to a participant’s EBA without the cardholder being physically present for specific reasons. Details of this policy are outlined in Chapter 8, Section 3 of the NC Interim eWIC Program Manual and reviewed in the eWIC policies and procedures webinar.
With eWIC, cards are not “loaded.” Food benefits are issued to an Electronic Benefit Account (EBA) and an eWIC card is issued to the cardholder.Card readers are used to read the 16-digit card number. Any local agency WIC staff that issues eWIC cards will have an eWIC card reader. Additional card readers are available for staff that may want to use the eWIC card to search for families. The card reader is smaller than a computer mouse and can be attached to the side of your computer monitor.
Yes, foster children will have their own EBA that will contain their food benefits and will be issued their own eWIC card.
9. Does eWIC update in Crossroads in real time? For example, if a participant uses their card in a store at 10 am and then contacts the WIC office at 10:15 am and states that they have lost their card, will Crossroads reflect the 10 am purchase?
Crossroads reflects eWIC purchases in real time but ONLY on the shopping list; the FI list and "Purchases under Journal Of Transactions" will not be updated until after the overnight batch process.
10. Will the education materials that will be distributed 3 months prior to roll out explain to participants how to use multiple payment methods (WIC EBT, Food Stamps, Cash, Debit card etc.) in one transaction?
No, but training for WIC staff and educational materials for WIC participants will be provided before rollout. WIC participants should be educated on how to use eWIC when they are issued their card for the first time.
11. Will the app that is associated with eWIC have the capability to send the participant an alert when their WIC EBT card is empty to remind them that it’s time for their card to be reload/time for their appointment?
The eWIC app (Bnft) will provide WIC participants with current food benefit balances (including zero balance). Notifications regarding when benefits will expire and account activity can be sent if selected by the participant, but the app does not communicate with the Crossroads scheduling module. NSB is in the final stages of testing the Teletask Autodialer and we hope that it will be fully functional during eWIC rollout to remind WIC participants of upcoming appointments.
While the shopping list will have "First Date to Spend" and "Last Date to Spend" listed for each month of benefits issued, it does not have the next appointment printed on it.
The eWIC card can be issued to either the PG1, the PG2 or the Caretaker. Whoever the card is issued to is the Cardholder. The PIN is created after the Cardholder provides his/her own date of birth and the zip code of the address in the record. If there is a physical address AND a mailing address, the zip code of the mailing address is used. So, if the eWIC card is issued to the PG2, the PG2’s date of birth is used to PIN the card.
An eWIC card may be replaced as many times as needed. Families who need their card replaced more than three times should be encouraged but are not required to use the eWIC Customer Service system for a mailed replacement. Local staff can review the EBT Card History box on the Issue EBT Card screen to view reasons for multiple (excessive) replacements and discuss ways to reduce card replacement with the cardholder as needed.
The EBT system of food benefit issuance is significantly different from a paper system. Food benefits are not on the card, instead they are stored in the participant’s Electronic Benefits Account (EBA). The eWIC card is the means of accessing their benefits in the EBA, and it is protected by a PIN. Replacing the NC eWIC card does not change the amount of food benefits remaining in the family EBA. Any current food benefits reported as missing or stolen from an EBA cannot be reissued. When participants are issued their eWIC card for the first time, they will be encouraged to handle them securely as they did their paper benefits. If a card is truly lost or stolen, it no longer means that the participant has to go the remainder of the month or three months without the benefit of the WIC food package, and police reports are no longer needed. Being able to replace the eWIC card is also a benefit for state and local staff, because we will no longer be faced with whether to replace benefits for which we cannot determine the status.
16. When the Parent/Guardian 1 or 2 or Caretaker changes, local users should deactivate the previous eWIC card and issue a new eWIC card. If there are redeemed but irretrievable food benefits such as cans of infant formula, can users add the benefit back to the EBA or do we issue cans of formula from inventory or order from NSB?
Irretrievable formula could be re-issued from your physical inventory or ordered from NSB. Each situation must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The previous eWIC card would be deactivated only if there are no other participants in the original family.
When there are formula changes for participants with eWIC, the Exchange/Increase screen is used to exchange the formula. If there is formula left in the EBA, the Quantity from EBT Account field is completed, and that formula is automatically exchanged. There is also a field on the Exchange/Increase screen for local users to add in the number of returned cans of formula. Resources will be provided prior to your rollout on how to use Exchange/Increase with eWIC.
You are welcome to continue using the WIC Wallets until they are gone. NSB has quite a supply in the warehouse to order. We will not be reordering any after the warehouse supply is depleted. We are working on something to eventually replace the WIC Wallets, but do not have it in place yet.
The Nutrition Services Branch is planning to send state level staff to most clinics that are open three or more days per week. State level staff will be contacting local WIC Directors one or two weeks before their rollout. Small clinics that are fully staffed may not need to reduce the number of appointments on Wednesday and Thursday of rollout week. Large clinics or clinics with staff shortages should continue to block off appointments for rollout. Please discuss this issue with your RNC if you have questions.
Once your clinic has rolled out eWIC, after the Issue button is clicked the participant’s electronic signature is obtained and Crossroads issues the aggregated food benefits to the family’s Electronic Benefits Account. A status message will appear in Crossroads stating, “EBT Benefits were sent successfully.” After issuance, Crossroads navigates to the Food Instrument List screen. Local users must use the Print Shopping List button on the bottom right of the screen to open and print the Shopping List. This list displays the Food Benefit Balance for each month of issuance. It includes the first and last date to purchase, the quantity, unit of measure and description of food item. Local users will review this list with the participant. If the user or participant notices mistakes, the benefits can be voided and reissued.
NSB has small appointment cards that will be available for ordering to give participants and there is some room to write on the back. We do not plan to reprint the WIC wallets, however participants and agencies can continue to use the remaining inventory of WIC wallets.
Our experience during Pilot indicates that satellite clinics can remain open.
WIC participants will be able to use their eWIC card as ID for food benefit issuance and subsequent certifications.
Last Modified: May 8, 2019