Proposed Regulatory Changes for EBT in the WIC Program

Proposed regulatory changes related to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) were published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2013.

The proposed changes would implement WIC EBT-related provisions set forth in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHKFA), signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010. The proposed rule is available at https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-04216.

EBT provisions of the HHFKA that are included in the proposed rule are: (1) a definition of EBT; (2) a mandate that all WIC State agencies implement EBT systems by October 1, 2020; (3) a requirement for State agencies to submit annual EBT status reports on their progress toward EBT implementation; (4) revisions to cost sharing for retail vendors; (5) minimum lane equipage standards; (6) technical standards and operating rules; and (7) a requirement that State agencies use the National Universal Product Code (NUPC) database.

Providing WIC participants a specific prescription of supplemental nutritious foods based on their nutritional needs is a cornerstone of WIC's mission. The use of EBT in the WIC Program improves the shopping experience for both participants and vendors.

The Food and Nutrition Service invites you to submit comments on this proposed rule within the 90-day public comment period that ends on June 29, 2013. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: