As if raising children with a partner wasn’t hard enough, many single moms struggle to make financial ends meet.
It isn’t easy either for them to admit that they need help and that they are struggling to make it on their own.
If you are a single mother and find yourself a little helpless, the state of Ohio has lined up several support programs.
These assistance are particularly designed to help you tide over difficult times.
Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio’s TANF program. OWF was established to provide time-limited cash assistance to eligible, needy families — for up to 36 months.
You will be required to participate in work activities for the required number of hours every month that you are on assistance. Failure to do so without good cause can result in termination of benefits.
Currently, an OWF benefit for a family of three is $465. Benefits are issued through either the Ohio PATHWAY card or deposited directly into your bank account.
You may apply for Ohio Works First online by going to ODJFS Benefits or by filling out the “Request for Cash, Food and Medical Assistance” (JFS 7200) form and submitting it to your county agency.
The Food Assistance Program — formerly the Food Stamp Program, helps eligible low-income Ohioans stretch their food budgets and buy healthy food.
You may qualify for benefits if your household’s gross monthly income is at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines or about $25,700 per year for a single mother of two.
If you are accepted into the program, your food assistance benefits are automatically deposited to your Ohio DIRECTION Card account on the same day of each month you are eligible.
WIC helps income eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at health risk due to inadequate nutrition.
To be fully eligible for the program, applicants must be determined by a health professional to be “at nutritional risk” and have incomes within the Ohio’s WIC income guidelines.1
WIC clinics are located in all 88 Ohio counties. To find a WIC clinic near you, please click here or call 1-800-755-GROW (4769) for assistance.
Ohio Healthy Families guarantees coverage for basic health and long-term care services for Ohioans from low-income families — mostly uninsured families with children under age 19.
As Ohio is expanding Medicaid coverage, Healthy Families is now available to all Ohioans age between 19-64 with income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
Ohioans who qualify gain access to important services like doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital care, immunizations, vision and dental care, mental health services and more.
Healthy Start (also called SCHIP) provides health care coverage for children younger than age 19 and pregnant women who qualify based on income. For most families, it is free. Others may have co-pays of $1 to $3.
Healthy Start is open to children from families whose household income is 211% or less of the federal poverty level (FPL) or less than 205% for pregnant women.
Ohio CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.
CCAP is available for children under age 13 whose parent is employed or enrolled in OHIO WORKS FIRST program. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.
The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on your income, family size and the number of children in care.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program that provides free nutritious meals to children living in low-income areas throughout Ohio. The program operates throughout the summer months (Jun – Aug) when they are out of school.
All children ages 1 through 18 are eligible to receive free meals during the summer months at participating program sites. To find an SFSP site, call 1-855-570-7377.
Unemployment Insurance is a “wage replacement” program that helps workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It provides temporary financial help to qualified individuals based on their previous earnings, while they are looking for a new job.
Ohio is one of the states that offers a dependency allowance to those who qualify. If you have up to two dependents, you may receive up to $507 per week of unemployment benefit.2
You may apply for UI benefits either electronically or by phone at 1-877-OHIOJOB (1-877-644-6562) toll-free, Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) program provides grant money to Ohio students who demonstrate the highest levels of financial need with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $2,190 or less AND a household income of no more than $75,000 as determined by the FAFSA results.
To be eligible for OCOG, applicant must be enrolled at an eligible Ohio or Pennsylvania institution. The application deadline is October 1 each year.
- Ohio’s WIC Income Guidelines [↩]
- The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Unemployment Compensation FAQ’s [↩]