Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), also known as Ohio Works First (OWF) or cash assistance, provides temporary cash benefits to qualifying families while the adults of the family prepare for and search for employment.
The TANF program is a work program. Families receive assistance by spending a minimum of 25-35 hour per week (depending on circumstances) working, in school, or and assigned work activity.
Families may be eligible to receive benefits for up to 36 months, sometimes non-consecutively, while families work towards self-sufficiency.
Benefits are distributed through the EPPIcard which can be used like a debit card or through direct deposit into an individual bank account.
HOW DO I QUALIFY?
Eligibility is based on the family's income and the number of people living in the household.
- Minor children living with guardians other than their parents may be eligible for “child-only” assistance, with no time limit.
- Women who are at least six months pregnant may be eligible for individual assistance.
- Unmarried minor parents and pregnant minors must be in approved, adult-supervised living arrangements or live with a parent, legal guardian, relative or legal custodian.
- Most adults and minor heads of household must participate in work activities. Allowable work activities include such things as on-the-job training, community service and education directly related to employment.
Assistance groups are not eligible if they include an adult who:
- Does not sign the self-sufficiency contract
- Does not comply with the term of the contract
- Has income that exceeds the amount for the assistance group size
- Has received benefits fraudulently
Other Individuals who are not eligible include:
- Fugitive felons
- Probation/Parole Violators
- Individuals convicted for fraudulently misstating where they live in order to receive benefits
HOW DO I APPLY?
There are many ways to apply for TANF benefits. You may apply online at Benefits.Ohio.Gov, calling 1-866-635-3748 (follow the prompts for food assistance) or by filling out the Request for Cash, Food and Medical Assistance form (JFS 7200) and submitting it to your Clinton County Job and Family Services, Family Support Unit. Applications are accepted in-person during normal business hours Monday-Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm. Applications may also be submitted by mail, email or at the drop box located outside of the Job and Family Services Building.
Individuals eligible for, receiving services from or benefiting from programs funded by or through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) are protected by various laws, regulations, rules, and policies against unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, political affiliation (food stamps only), age, sex, citizenship/ participant status (WIOA Programs only) and national origin. If you believe that you have been denied or delayed services for which you are eligible because of your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, political affiliation (food stamps only), disability or age, you must file your complaint within six months of the date on which the incident or treatment happened. You may call the Bureau of Civil Rights to submit your complaint, or you may submit your complaint in writing. If the complaint is submitted by telephone you can call (614) 644-2703 or Toll Free 1-866-227-6353.