Rollout of eWIC Benefits

For Immediate Release

April 3, 2018; 10:25am

DPHSS Release No. 2018-029

Rollout of eWIC Benefits

The Department of Public Health and Social Services announces that effective March 27, 2018, participants in the Guam Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) no longer receive their benefits via paper checks, but rather through electronic benefits transfer (EBT), also known as eWIC. In eWIC, clients transact their WIC purchases by sliding an eWIC card through a machine at the approved WIC vendor's checkout register.

All WIC-approved vendors will continue to honor paper checks for those WIC clients who have already received these benefits (i.e., for the duration of the WIC check’s specified valid period). It will take about three months for the existing paper WIC checks already issued to all cycle through the banking system and complete the transition to where all benefits transact via eWIC.

For 35 years on Guam, WIC has provided healthy nutrition & lifestyle education, nutritious supplemental foods, and health care referrals to program-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding & non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and children ages 0-4 who are found to be at nutritional risk. WIC works with young families to promote changes in dietary and nutrition related lifestyle habits that normally lead to poor pregnancy outcomes, less than optimal growth and development in infants and children, and an otherwise compromised healthy life which prevents an individual from reaching his or her full potential.

The Guam WIC program anticipates that this landmark change will create a greatly improved shopping experience for both clients and vendors because the significant decrease in manual verification of client purchase information at the register, will result in much faster and easier transactions. eWIC also provides more versatility for the client as to when they can redeem their WIC foods and has a complementary smart phone app (EZ WIC) which assists clients in tracking their purchases and scheduling WIC appointments. For the program itself, eWIC will provide significantly more data to assist in improving services and controlling fraud.

For more information, please contact Mr. Charles Morris, Administrator, Bureau of Nutrition Services at 475-0287 or any WIC clinic (Mangilao/Tiyan – 475-0295/6, Dededo – 635-7471/2, Santa Rita – 565-3537, or Inarajan – 828-7550).