Will we lose our WIC benefits when we file bankruptcy?

No.

Bankruptcy discharges your financial obligations to creditors for debts such as medical bills and credit cards.  It does not negatively impact your ability to receive government assistance.

WIC (for those of you who don’t know), stands for “Women, Infants, and Children” and is

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk

and is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.  Here in Utah, it is administered by each county.  For example, Salt Lake County’s website for WIC is here.  WIC gives food vouchers for families to use at stores for healthy food and baby formula.  It’s not food stamps, but is similar.

Filing bankruptcy does not affect your ability to receive any government benefits.  it definitely does not affect your eligibility to collect WIC.  According to the Salt Lake County Website, eligibility is determined as follows (bankruptcy is nowhere to be found on the eligibility standards):

Who is eligible for WIC?

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • A woman who has just had a baby
  • A child less than 5 years of age
  • Must meet income guidelines

Income Guidelines

Income is determined on gross income and frequency of pay. WIC counts all of the members of a household, related or unrelated. WIC counts an unborn baby as a household member.

Household Size* Annual Monthly Twice Monthly Bi-Weekly Weekly
1 $21,590 $1,800 $900 $831 $416
2 $29,101 $2,426 $1,213 $1,120 $560
3 $36,612 $3,051 $1,526 $1,409 $705
4 $44,123 $3,677 $1,839 $1,698 $849
5 $51,634 $4,303 $2,152 $1,986 $993
6 $59,145 $4,929 $2,465 $2,275 $1,138
7 $66,656 $5,555 $2,778 $2,564 $1,282
8 $74,167 $6,181 $3,091 $2,853 $1,427
Each additional
family member, add
$7,511 $626 $313 $289 $145

*Utah WIC Program Income Eligibility Guidelines

July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015