Ohio Works First (OWF)

Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio’s TANF program. OWF was established to provide cash assistance to eligible, needy families.

Applicants are 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.

OWF is time limited — up to 36 months under Ohio law. Each county sets its own hardship exemptions that would allow families to remain on OWF for a longer period of time.


How much cash assistance will I get for a family of 3 in Ohio? #


Currently, an OWF benefit for a family of three is $542. Benefits are issued through either the Ohio PATHWAY card or deposited directly into into a checking or savings account.

How do I apply for cash assistance in Ohio? #


You may apply for Ohio Works First online by going to Benefits.Ohio.gov or by filling out the “Request for Cash, Food and Medical Assistance” (JFS 7200) form and submitting it to your county agency.

To apply for cash assistance benefits, you must complete a face-to-face interview. The county will schedule that interview after you complete the initial application.

How long does it take to get cash assistance approved in Ohio? #


Eligibility determination will be made usually within 30 days from the date an application is received. Turnaround times may vary depending on the facts of your case and the time it take to verify your income.

How long can I receive cash assistance in Ohio? #


The state of Ohio allows you to be on cash assistance for 36 months (3 years). After your 36 months have elapsed, you will be ineligible for cash benefits for 24 months.

Refugees may be eligible for the Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance programs for the first eight months after they arrive.

For more information about Refugee Services Program, call
(614) 466-4815

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