What is Ohio Works First?

Ohio Works First is the financial assistance portion of the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, which provides cash benefits to needy families for up to 36 months.  Over their lifetime, adults are limited to a total of 60 months of OWF cash assistance.

Who is eligible?

Families with children that meet a “gross monthly income test” may be eligible. Gross monthly income includes unearned income – for example, Social Security benefits – and earned income – such as payment for work–before taxes.

  • 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
  • In order to receive benefits, adults and minor heads of household must sign a self-sufficiency contract.
  • Failure to sign the self-sufficiency contract without good cause can result in denial or termination of benefits, which would affect the entire family. The contract explains the participant’s rights and responsibilities and what the county department of job and family services will do to help the participant become self-sufficient.
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Public Assistance

Public assistance refers to government programs that provide funding to communities, individuals and families in need. Examples include: Cash Assistance, Food Assistance, Medicaid, Child Care Assistance, Transportation Assistance and Fraud.

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Our strong partnership with many state and local organizations offer opportunities to job seekers in their path to finding rewarding employment while assisting employers in building a successful workforce.

Child Support

Child Support is money paid by a parent, who isn’t living with his or her children, to help cover the cost of their care. Child Support helps guarantee that children’s basic needs are met: from food, shelter and clothes to education, transportation and medical expenses.

Protective Services

We provide protective services to the elderly and children who are in danger of harm, unable to protect themselves, and/or have no one else to assist them. SCOJFS is mandated to investigate and evaluate all reports of suspected abuse and neglect.