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Overview of Cash Assistance

Ohio Works First (cash assistance) is temporary assistance available to families to help pay for immediate needs while the adults of the family prepare and search for jobs.

Ohio Works First is a work program. Families receive assistance by spending a minimum of 20 to 35 hours per week (depending on circumstances) working, in school, or in some cases, volunteering at a location that will help them gain work experience for the future. Adults who are unable to find work or volunteer activity will work closely with Morrow County Job and Family Services to remove any remaining barriers to finding employment.

Benefits are distributed through the EPPICard, which can be used like a debit card, or through direct deposit into the individual’s bank account.

Families may be eligible for the program for up to 36 months, which may be non-consecutive. Ultimately, Ohio Works First allows families to work toward financial stability.

Ohio Works First is also known as cash assistance or Federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Would my household qualify?

Eligibility for Ohio Works First is based on the family’s income and the number of people living in the household. Minor children and women who are at least six months pregnant and in an approved living arrangement may also be eligible.

Typically, to qualify for cash assistance a family must meet the “gross monthly income test,” which means that their monthly income (both earned and unearned) before taxes is below a certain level. The gross monthly income for a family increases annually.

Ohio Works First Cash requires adult recipients to participate with the Self-Sufficiency Contract. The Ohio Works First Self-Sufficiency Contract (SSC) is an agreement between Job & Family Services and the recipient to help participants transition from assistance dependency towards personal responsibility, employment, and self-sufficiency. One of the requirements is that adult and minor head of household of an Ohio Works First Assistance Group sign the Self-Sufficiency Contract.

The SSC and work plan, when signed by all adult and minor head of household members of the Ohio Works First Assistance Group become a binding agreement of mutual rights and responsibilities between the County Department of Job & Family Services and the Ohio Works First Assistance Group. However, relative caretakers caring for children are not required to sign a self-sufficiency contract if they are only requesting Ohio Works First cash assistance for the child.

Who is not eligible?

  • Fugitive felons
  • Probation/parole violators
  • Individuals convicted for fraudulent misstatement of residence in order to receive benefits.
  • Individuals that receive Supplemental Security Income
  • Families that receive adoption assistance payments or federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments
Other individuals may also not be eligible, but are not included in the list above.

The best way to find out for sure if you qualify is to apply!
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