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Cash assistance Ohio Works First TANF program.

Cash assistance programs are run locally in Ohio by the County Department of Job and Family Services. The program, known as Ohio Works First, is the state’s version of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or welfare. There is financial aid given to households with children, whether they are single mom or dad run or married couples.

The funds from the state can help pay a wide variety of bills, including rent, heating or utility, food, medical, child care, and others. In addition, the money from Works First can also pay for transportation for work related reasons, and that may be expenses such as gasoline, car repairs, or bus passes. In addition the low income family can only get free cash from the state if they participate in some form of work related activities, which may mean have a job, be involved in training, or going back to school.

Applying for Ohio Works First

Each county and major city has a local Department of Job and Family Service office. There are multiple locations in bigger cities, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and others. All applications needs to go through those centers or the can be done online if more convenient.

The cash assistance is only for very low income families that have one or more children. The funds can help single mothers or dads, teenage parents, the disabled, and even elderly if their social security payments are less than the cut off amounts. Some of the other criteria include the child needs to be immunized and in school, the parent needs to be working, training, or seeking employment, and the payments will only last at most 36 months over a lifetime. Note the state can make exceptions from time to time.

When applying, bring proof of income and expenses. This can include a lease showing the monthly rent amount, copies of utility bills, and disability notices, income from child support, and more. There also needs to be a self-sufficiency contract signed by the applicant, which means they agree to employment, volunteering, or looking for a job for the entire time they are on the Ohio Works First cash assistance program.

The work requirement includes 0 to 20 hours of employment, which may include on the job training. There can also be job search or readiness training allowed including vocational education training. The education part of Work First include GED and post-secondary, life skills or parenting training or ESL classes.




Note the aid is only for U.S. national citizen who live in Ohio. Or in some instances cash payments can be made to legal alien, immigrants in applying. or permanent resident. In addition, the case workers at the local Department of Job and Family Service office may go over other terms and conditions.

Financial aid from OWF cash program

The exact monthly payment is based on family size. As far as how to calculate the average payment, or the amount to be made by Ohio Works First, a case manager can go over that. However the average payment made by OWF, if the family has 3 people in it, is $474 per month.

The money can really be used to pay any type of living expense the family may have. This means bills such as rent to stop an eviction or for power bills to keep heat or lights on. TANF welfare is also used to pay for groceries or medications, both of which are life threatening if gone without. Another big use of the funds is to pay for work related expenses, namely child care, uniforms or clothes, as well as transportation. If needed, find other free charitable clothing programs.

Note the funds are always transmitted on an EBT card known as The Ohio Pathway card, and if there are questions as to what can or can’t be paid the Department of Job and Family Service can review this. If the household has a checking or savings account, the money can be transfered into that on a monthly basis.

Another major advantage of the cash assistance from Ohio Works First is the financial aid is combined with other public assistance. So families often enroll into SNAP food stamps, Medicaid, or even SSI disability at the same time. All of that can make a big difference in the financial security of a struggling household.





Phone number for cash aid - TANF in Ohio

Either drop in at a Ohio Department of Job and Family Services office to apply. Or applications for cash aid can be done online as well. Or for more information, or details on the nearest application site for cash assistance, dial 1-866-244-0071.

By Jon McNamara

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