Public Health: Glossary of Terms Used in WIC
Tarrant County Public Health
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Glossary of Terms

  • Applicant-- A pregnant, breastfeeding, or post-partum woman, an infant or child younger than 5 years of age who have applied to determine eligibility to receive WIC benefits. Applicants who are eligible for the WIC program become participants.
  • Approved Foods-- Those specific foods which the WIC state office, using USDA standards, has approved for the current year for participants to receive.
  • Baby-friendly-- Designation given to hospitals that choose to implement the 10 steps to successful breastfeeding developed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
  • Bring Back-- An allotted time a client may return with required documentation not presented at prior WIC appointment. The client may not receive benefits until all required information is presented in a timely manner.
  • Cardholder-- WIC client/participant.
  • Card Reader-- Card terminal used at the WIC clinic to load benefits onto card for clients before leaving clinic. The card reader allows information to be read from and written to the Lone Star card.
  • Category-- Classification of a person as being a pregnant, post-partum, or breastfeeding woman; an infant from birth to 12 months; a child older than 12 months and younger than 5 years.
  • Certification-- Process by which applicants are determined to be eligible to receive WIC benefits. The applicant is checked for category, residence, income, and nutritional need. Initial certification is the first time an applicant is deemed eligible to receive WIC benefits. Re-certification of clients at regular intervals is known as "sub-cert".
  • Class-- Process by which applicants receive nutrition education in the WIC clinic from a nutritionist or self-paced module before receiving WIC benefits.
  • Client-- WIC participant.
  • Contract Formula-- Formula that is under current contract with the State WIC Program.
  • EBT-- Electronic Benefits Transfer.
  • EBT Card-- WIC Lone Star Card used to purchase WIC benefits at grocery store. The card is required at each clinic appointment.
  • EBT Store Receipt-- Receipt that clients receive at grocery store after WIC purchases. These store receipts show the latest balance for the current month after client has purchased WIC foods with EBT card.
  • Electronic Benefits-- WIC benefits and data on the WIC Lone Star EBT card that clients may purchase at the grocery store.  Benefits are available the 1st day of the month until the last day of the month.
  • Food Package-- Specific group of approved foods "prescribed" for the dietary needs of each WIC participant. A client's food package may include milk, infant formula, infant cereal, baby fruits & vegetables, baby meats, cheese, cereal, juice, eggs, beans, peanut butter, tuna, fruits & vegetables and whole grains. The food packages vary according to participant's category and nutritional needs.
  • Gateway Program-- Three programs- Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children - that serve applicants with an income which either meets or is lower than WIC income eligibility guidelines. Thus, any WIC applicant who has qualified for one of the three gateway programs automatically meets income eligibility for WIC.
  • Gold Chip-- Gold colored chip that is embedded in the WIC Lone Star card.
  • Hot Card-- EBT card that has been electronically altered to prevent use at the vendor or grocery store as soon as the card has been reported lost or stolen to State office.
  • Income Guidelines-- Current Income Guidelines set by the Department of State Health Services used to determine client eligibility by household size.
  • Library Plan-- Self-paced nutrition education option clients may choose to go to a participating library and read an approved book to their child.  The client will receive a certificate from the library and return to the WIC clinic with certificate to receive WIC benefits.
  • Local Agency (LA)-- One of more than 80 local public and private non-profit health agencies and several public health regions which contract with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to deliver WIC services.
  • Mid-certification-- A nutrition assessment for children (to include a review of anthropometrics, bloodwork, brief update of health and dietary assessment), immunization screening, nutrition education and referrals to other health and social services.
  • Mother-friendly-- Designation given to businesses that choose to support their breastfeeding employees by providing a clean, private place for the company's working moms to pump milk for their babies.
  • NAWD-- National Association of WIC Directors (members include Texas WIC nutrition coordinators and local-agency directors).
  • Non-Contract Formula-- Formula other than the current State WIC contract formula. A non-contract formula requires a prescription before it can be issued as a WIC benefit.
  • PAN-- Primary Account Number. The PAN is a unique number that is embossed on the front of the Lone Star Smart Card, which is assigned to the cardholder’s record.  
  • PFA-- Patient-flow analysis; a method by which trained WIC staff maintains optimal flow of client traffic in WIC clinics.
  • PIN-- Personal Identification Number. A PIN is the client’s unique four digit number that cardholder will choose and use as a password. The PIN must be entered at the grocery store to allow WIC benefit purchases.
  • PIN Checker-- Hardware used in WIC clinics for clients to verify PIN before leaving the clinic to purchase benefits at the grocery store.
  • Participant-- client of the WIC program.
  • Prorated Benefits-- Method used by Texas Win system to calculate client’s WIC benefits based on number of days left in the month.
  • SIF-- Supplemental Information Form (WIC-35-1), which must be signed by each applicant, even those determined to be ineligible to receive WIC benefits.
  • Shopping List-- Print out of client’s WIC benefits which can be purchased using the EBT card. A WIC shopping list is printed at each WIC appointment.
  • Shopping Guide-- Detailed food brochure that lists WIC approved items available to purchase with WIC EBT card.
  • Signature Line-- Located on the back of the WIC Lone Star card; area WIC client signs name.
  • State Agency-- Group of workers at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) (most in the Bureau of Clinical and Nutrition Services) which is responsible for the WIC program statewide.
  • TALWD-- Texas Association of Local WIC Directors (members include Texas WIC nutrition coordinators and local-agency directors).
  • TDH-- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), which oversees the state's WIC program.
  • Texas WIC-- WIC program in Texas managed by the state agency.
  • Texas WIN-- Texas WIC Information Network; the computer software application that supports the operation of the local agencies. It is through Texas WIN that applicants are certified, food packages are identified, and benefits are issued and tracked.
  • USDA-- United States Department of Agriculture, which funds and oversees the WIC program.
  • Vendor-- A commercial entity, such as a grocery store, where WIC EBT card is used to purchase WIC approved food items.
  • WABA-- World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action; a people's initiative to globally protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
  • Web Lesson-- Texas Online Nutrition Education. A self-paced nutrition education lesson available on TexasWIC.org website which upon completion documentation is returned to clinic by client to receive WIC benefits.
  • WIC Lone Star Card-- A card with an embedded integrated circuit (chip) that allows it to store current WIC benefits of the cardholder.  WIC Lone Star card looks and works like a debit card.  
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Content Last Modified on 5/19/2014 10:36:25 AM



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