Final Rule: WIC Certification Integrity
This final rule adopts an interim rule amending 7 CFR part 246 which was published on January 21, 2000, at 65 FR 3375 for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The interim rule and this final rule implement three legislative requirements that affect the application and certification process for the WIC Program. These legislative requirements can be found in the William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998. In addition, this final rule implements several nondiscretionary legislative requirements in the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 that also affect the WIC application and certification process.
One of these provisions was subsequently amended by the Grain Standards and Warehouse Improvement Act of 2000, Public Law 106-472, enacted November 9, 2000. Therefore, this final rule adopts requirements that WIC applicants, except in limited circumstances, present documentation of family income at certification for those individuals who are not certified based on adjunctive income eligibility procedures; present proof of residency as part of a State agency's system to prevent dual participation; and, physically present themselves at certification.
In addition, this final rule allows individuals residing in a remote Indian or Native village or served by an Indian tribal organization and residing on a reservation or pueblo, to provide the name of the village and mailing address as proof of residency, and defines “remote Indian or Native village.” Further, this final rule provides State agencies, in determining an applicant's eligibility for WIC, the option to exclude from consideration as income any cost-of-living allowance provided to military personnel who are on duty outside the contiguous United States. The intent of these provisions is to strengthen the integrity of the WIC certification process and to consider the needs of special populations in determining eligibility for the WIC Program.