Participants Rights & Responsibilities

Your Rights as a WIC Participant

WIC is a federally funded program through the United States Department of Agriculture. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

To file a complaint of discrimination:

(202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD)
Director, Office of Civil Rights
Room 326-W, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

If you do not qualify for the WIC program or if you have been taken off the WIC program, you may appeal the decision by requesting a fair hearing. In a fair hearing, you are given the opportunity to tell why you think you were not treated fairly by the WIC program. You tell your reasons to a "hearings officer" who does not work for the WIC program. After listening to you and the WIC staff, the hearings officer makes a decision that is based on the facts and program rules. If you want a fair hearing, you should write, call or visit your local WIC office. The staff will help you with your request.

You can also write to:

Kent County Health Dept. – WIC Program
ATTN: WIC Supervisor
700 Fuller Ave, NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

You may ask the local WIC office for permission to let someone else pick up your WIC benefits for you if you are not able to get to the WIC office. This person is called a "proxy" and can take your children to the clinic for certification appointments and also buy your WIC foods for you.

You should be treated courteously at the WIC office and the grocery store. If you have any problems at the store or clinic, tell your local WIC staff.

You have the right to expect that most of the WIC foods are in stock at grocery stores that accept WIC.

You have the right to know what prices are being charged for your food benefits so that you can be sure the store is not over-charging the WIC program.

You do not have to give the store any money for buying foods with your WIC benefits. You may use store or food company coupons to lower the cost of your WIC foods. You may also use coupons that allow special offers such as "2 for 1", "buy 1, get 1 free", or other promotions that add no additional cost to participants or the WIC program.

If you move to another county or state, you should contact the local WIC office. They will help you continue to get WIC benefits for as long as you are eligible.

You have the right to be told when you or your child needs to be recertified for the WIC program.