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News: WIC Processing Guidance Expedited Services for Disaster Evacuees

Aug 31, 2021

WIC Processing Guidance Expedited Services for Disaster Evacuees
To: Regional Nutritionists Louisiana WIC Clinics and Staff 

From: Leslie Lewis, Nutrition Operations Manager 

Subject: WIC Processing Guidance Expedited Services for Disaster Evacuees 

**Disclaimer: The guidance provided in the entirety of this document shall only be used with evacuees following a declared disaster and approved by the Louisiana WIC State Agency

If you have any questions regarding this memo, please contact Sheneda Jackson, WIC Policy Manager, at Sheneda.Jackson@la.gov. 

Expedited Processing of Disaster-Related Evacuees 
Disaster-related evacuees who seek WIC benefits shall be considered as special nutritional risk applicants and receive expedited certification processing. As stated in Section 246.7(f)(2)(iii)(A) of WIC Program regulations, special nutritional risk applicants must be notified of their eligibility or ineligibility within 10 days of the date of the first request for Program benefits. 

Effective Friday August 27, 2021 applicants/participants who are evacuating from disaster-related areas of Louisiana or other states shall receive expedited WIC services using the disaster protocol below. 

Obtain a Verification of Certification (VOC) 
When possible, a VOC shall be obtained for evacuees from out of state. For participants on formula, the name of the formula shall be requested with the VOC. When applicable, request a copy of prescription documentation for special formula. If unable to obtain special formula prescription documentation, follow special formula guidance below. Contact numbers for VOC requests can be found here: VOC State Contacts 

LAWIN Guidance 
Refer to the Louisiana WIC Disaster Plan (Ch. 13 of the WIC Policy Manual) for steps on LAWIN entry (pages 5-10). 
Add a note on the family page indicating that the family is also evacuating due to “Ida”. 
Refer to the MOSAIC Louisiana WIC Training Handbook for additional guidance. 

Transfer the Participant and Prescribe Benefits 
Prescribe and issue Louisiana benefits beginning at the end of last benefit redemption. For out-of-state transfers, thirty (30) days of benefits may be issued, as this may be temporary displacement. In-state transfers may be issued up to three months of benefits. 

Issue a VOC to Evacuees 
A VOC shall be issued by LA WIC to all evacuated participants, regardless of their previous place of residence. 

Documentation of Income, Residency, Identification, and Nutrition Risk Assessment 
Refer to the Louisiana WIC Disaster Plan (Ch. 13 of the WIC Policy Manual) for steps on LAWIN entry (page 6). 

Standard Formula Issuance 
Applicants/Participants evacuating from another state who are on standard formula shall be prescribed the current Louisiana contract standard formula equivalent. 

Medical Documentation for Exempt Formula (Exempt Infant Formulas and WIC-eligible Medical Foods) WIC may provide, with appropriate medical documentation, exempt formula for applicants/participants with serious medical conditions. 

Exempt Formula Guidance: 
  • Participant was not on WIC before the disaster: Evacuee applicants seeking WIC benefits who were not on WIC prior to the disaster may be issued up to 30 days of exempt formula benefits and referred to a local Provider to obtain medical documentation. After the maximum issuance, current Louisiana policy shall be followed for exempt formula issuance. 
  • Participant received LA WIC exempt formula before the disaster: Louisiana participants evacuating to another part of the state, who were approved to receive exempt formula prior to the disaster, may be issued the exempt formula according to current Louisiana policy guidance for issuance. If the prescription recently expired, no more than one month of exempt formula shall be issued. After the one-month issuance, current Louisiana policy shall be followed for exempt formula issuance. 
  • Participant (LA or other state) has a valid exempt formula prescription: Evacuee applicants/participants who are able to provide required documentation for exempt formula may be issued food benefits for the specified item up to the end of their certification period according to current Louisiana policy guidance for issuance. 
  • Participant does not have a valid exempt formula prescription: Evacuee applicants/participants evacuating from another state, who cannot provide documentation of exempt formula that was issued in the other state, may be issued a maximum 30 days benefit for that specific item. After the one-month issuance, current Louisiana policy shall be followed for exempt formula issuance. 

CC:
Beth Scalco - Regional Administration 
Jennifer Nicklas - WIC State Agency 
Colleen Arceneaux 

Click here for full Memo
Click here for Program Disaster Plan 

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